Former Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak, now with the St. Louis Blues, signs an autograph and thanks Mikel Diotte at Faiview on Saturday.
Peter McCabe, The Gazette

Fans began lining up at 8 a.m. for Jaroslav Halak’s visit to the Fairview shopping centre in Pointe Claire.

The event began at 2 and Jaro spent the afternoon signing whatever was put in front of him – Girls, control yourselves! – for $20, with all proceeds to the Ste. Justine children’s hospital.

Estimates of the crowd ranged from 1,000 (RDS’s Renaud Lavoie on Twitter) to 5,000 (Allan Walsh). The fan frenzy had Dave Stubbs, on Twitter, calling Halak “the Bratislava Beatle”.

One fan’s Tweet: Halak gets longer lineup then the iPhone 4. Take that Steve Jobs.

The event was supposed to end at 4 p.m. but went into OT (with no Shootout) so that fans would not be disappointed.

Lavoie points out that many fans had multiple items to sign – at $20 per, so Ste. Justine is a big winner today.

Walsh said that Halak was “shocked and overwhelmed” by the turnout of fans. Fairview had security on until mall closing at 5 pm and when the goalie was still signing at 5:30, he was told it was time to pack up. So he went outside and shook hands with the estimated couple of thousand fans still in line, posed for some photos, and finally drove away saying he had no feeling in his signing hand.

He and his entourage will be having dinner in Montreal tonight.

Not, we’re guessing, at Lafleur.

• Halak was low-key and gracious, as always, in his conversation with Montreal media

Ticket packages on sale this morning in the virtual waiting room. Gentlemen, start your keyboards. And good luck.

• An online ticket broker is offering good deals on exhibition games.

• Arpon Basu on the Canadiens’ cap situation.

• Yvon Pedneault on Carey Price, who wil be “under more pressure than anyone else” in the NHL.

• Finally, what seems to be the end of the Kovalchuk saga. And the Canadiens get to play him and Martin F. four times this season. The announcement. Red Fisher weighs in.

• Réjean Tremblay went down to Tampa to do a feature on Guy Boucher.

• Bargain of the off-season? Penguins get Mike Comrie for $500,000. Feature on Comrie.

Jean-François Bégin’s last sports column in La Presse. He’s the paper’s new sports editor.


  1. Caper says:

    He plays for a team not named the habs.

  2. K-hab25 says:

    How can anybody not like Price?

  3. alestar says:

    Theoretically, barring Force Majeur


    XXIV…and counting

  4. observer says:

    maybe bettman will still void the trade? he was going to void a couple of contracts a year later just yesterday?

  5. alestar says:

    Yep, my sentiments exactly…if he’d have dumped or at least put a leash on Walsh, I’d have liked him a whole lot more.


    XXIV…and counting

  6. saskhabfan says:

    His agent is a scumbag and the fact that jaro didn’t fire him for doing something so unprofessional speaks volumes that jaro didn’t have a problem with this. These are the kinds of things that cause a rift between goalies and causes problems in the dressing room. The team should only have to focus about playing hockey,not about players telling their agents to indirectly send messages to their bosses through the media. I’ve never seen a link that says jaro ever denying having a role in it.


    Leafstv “telling their fans they deserve to win for over 40 years”

  7. The Cat says:

    How can anyone not like Halak?


    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  8. SmartDog says:

    Getting older has its priveleges… like making more money!

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  9. alestar says:

    Good for Jaro, I like him…his agent, not so much…


    XXIV…and counting

  10. scrowe21 says:

    Oh ok, thanks. 

    ——–If you play nhl10 for xbox360 add me – scrowe21


    My spinorama shootout goal with Cammy

  11. observer says:

    tsn saids it was a scheduled 2 hour session  so many showed up they extended it 90 minutes.

  12. observer says:

    let price stumble and gainey and gauthier will be chased out of here. these fans numbers are even higher than those who showed up.

  13. W35T5ID3 says:

    Unlike the great D’agHoudini in St. Louis who loves to dissapear i really hope Jaro has a good career down there in Blues land and i hope he continues his marvelous play in net…..just not against Montreal.

  14. The Cat says:

    I agree! It so bugs me that Brodeur is considered so highly, its only because he wont sit on the bench ever. Hes no Patrick Roy, hes no Dominic Hasek either.


    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  15. JIMVINNY says:

    I chose to be drafted by the habs, so i can’t tell you.  once you’re in training camp they give you the preseason games to see where you’re at, and then decide whether to keep you or send you back.  hope that helps.

  16. scrowe21 says:

    Ahhhhhh..Ive had my copy pre ordered since july. been counting down the days and i have to wait until tuesday..

    Hopefully you can answer this question since youre playing be a pro.. Do you play a full season in the minors before you get drafted? or is it just a couple games? And after youve been drafted do you go straight to the AHL/NHL or can you play in the CHL for another season?

    ——–If you play nhl10 for xbox360 add me – scrowe21


    My spinorama shootout goal with Cammy

  17. Da Hema says:

    Not on my watch!


    “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge….”

    –Hunter S. Thompson

  18. nickster13 says:

    more realistic, more skill needed to play, more real game situations like stick breaks, but still LESS FUN IMO

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