The weather is warming up in Montreal, the jazz festival starts soon, and here’s what I was asked by three store clerks who recognized me on the weekend:

“Should the Canadiens keep Jaroslav Halak or Carey Price?”

And the HIO hockey genius answered: “Man, do I LOOK like Pierre Gauthier?”

I don’t. For one thing, I’ve got 100 pounds easy on the Canadiens vegetarian, ultra health-conscious general manager.

But that doesn’t count the weighty decisions he has to make over the next few weeks.

So tell us, Commentariat, what should Gauthier do?


And before answering, please consult the Canadiens’ salary cap situation.

will change when Georges Laraque is bought out today – lineup for his
fre-agent services starts on the left, let’s keep it orderly, as per the
Code – but the Canadiens have 13 players on their NHL roster for a
2010-’11 cap hit of $45 million.

The NHL has not announced the new
cap, but speculation has it coming in at about $58 million.

there’s about $13 million to sign a goaltender or two, Tomas Plekanec, Tom Pyatt,
Dominic Moore, Mathieu Darche, Glen Metropolit and Marc-André Bergeron.

subtract Moore and Metro and add Max Pacioretty ($910,000), Ryan White ($850,000) or Brock Trotter
(an RFA who made $900,000 last season).

Eric Engels has a good
piece on the Plekanec

My opinion: Pleks is outta here. He’ll be 28 in
October, and this is his career crack at a UFA bonanza.

Hometown discount? I call that a tax on stupidity. Pleks’s hometown is Kladno.

There’s a
GM somewhere in this wacky league who’ll pay Pleks $5 million. I don’t
think that general manager is named Pierre Gauthier.

As for the
goaltenders …

I don’t envy Gauthier having to make this

What if they trade Price and he fulfills his immense potential somewhere else?

What if they trade Jaro, whose value never will be higher (but still may lag Price’s), and Price gets off to a rocky start?

You think the Bell Centre boo birds won’t have fresh memories of Jaro carrying the team through two playoff series?

Halak made $800,000 last season. What do you suppose an arbitrator would give him … after Keri Lehtonen gets $10.6 million over three years in Dallas?

It’s not an easy call, like dumping BGL. And what Gauthier does between now and July 1 could shape the future of the franchise.

So have at it, peeps.

Offer up your sage advice.

And please, Priceians, Halakites and neutrals: Try to keep it civil.

•  •  •

Wow! Spector’s list of buyout candidates includes Andrei Kostitsyn.



  1. volcano62 says:

    Sorry to say this but Price has alot to prove still. He has let us down long enough. just for the record I like both goalies.


    Go Habs Go!

  2. B says:

    Stewart was “loaned” to Chicago, Chicago then “loaned” Dman Mike Vernace to Hamilton.

  3. pic1983 says:

    Seeing as the final two goalies in this years playoffs were Niemi and Leighton, and the fact that luongo and brodeur both played extremely average, I think its safe to say that NO GOALIE outside of Ryan Miller is worth $5million/season.  To give jaro halak 5 years and 25 million is asking for the tim thomas treatment, and even thomas isnt averaging $5 million/yr!

  4. habs4_25th says:

    would still be better than the maple leafs and the team would have to actually dig in and help the guy out!!!

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be it yours to hold high.”

  5. pic1983 says:

    Well based on the fact that Ilya Bryzgalov was claimed off waivers, the fact that Huet was traded at the deadline in his career season for a 2nd round pick, and the fact that the final two goalies were Antti Niemi and Michael Leighton (?!?!?!?!), I think the goaltending market has gone seriously down hill.

    I hope teams will see the value in either of our goalies, but as ive said many times before, trading EITHER goalie for anything less than a kings ransom would be a huge miscalculation by habs management. 

    Like i would take Carter and coburn for price in a heartbeat, I just dont think its realistic to get that in return, and anything less than a trade like that wouldnt be worth it to me.  Especially if were moving him in the east.  I would take a little less return and move him to a western conference team. 

  6. pic1983 says:

    You are right to an extent, and leighton was not the best of comparison, I more used leighton to illustrate the point.  All im saying is you have to be careful when it comes to goaltending.  Sometimes goalies just find themselve to be in the zone.  Confidence is everything with a goalie, and as easily as things can go well for a goalie, they can turn brutally wrong in a heartbeat. 

    all i am saying is that halak is not genuinely proven, and to discard price at this point for anything less than a kings ransom would be a HUGE gamble.  Actually, to discard EITHER goalie at this point for anything less than a kings ransom would be a huge gamble. 

    Halak has the talent, theres no two ways about it, we just havent seen him as a starter for a full-season + playoffs, so its hard to say that he’s “proven”.  He also came in as the “backup” with absolutely nothing to lose, in a contract year. 


  7. Max_a_million says:

    I don’t know what the offers are for him, but I would be worried about going long term.  I do think Halak will always be a battler, so he has that going for him.  All the choices are tough, guess that’s why PG makes this big bucks.

  8. mike g says:

    Sign Pleks, and either trade Hamr and the K’s for players with smaller cap hits, or simple buy them out.

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  9. Storm Man says:

    That is why you keep both for now. If Halak comes out and shows he is not a one hit wonder you have Price till the trade deadline where GM’S will overpay and the Habs get a better return, right now the market has alot of goaltenders. I think we need to worry about what to do about number14 and if he goes who does the team target.

  10. sh00n says:

    If you’re so worried about your TEAM then maybe you should cheer for the TEAM and not one specific player on it. All of you watch Price and hope for him to play like **** so you can come on here and trash him, it’s disgusting. Yet if Halak has a bad game, it’s only a bad game.

  11. sh00n says:

    So we should trade every 22 year old this franchise comes across who has a great first season, hits a sophomore slump and then has an old player do better than him? Awesome logic.

    I guess if PK doesn’t make the team next year we should trade him for peanuts too, right?

  12. Albert the monkey says:

    I don’t dispute that there are a lot of players getting stupid money. Absolutely. The question really comes down to can Montreal afford him? In a perfect world, we would be able to ask Hammer, Gomer and Brother Andrei to take a pay cut, because they don’t really deserve it. Give it Plek, because he had a great year and off we go to salary cap bliss. The problem Montreal has is we have too many big price-tag players. So, what would you do? is a great resource. How would you solve the problem?


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