Jaroslav Halak

 

I was out most of today and missed the Halak trade break. Thanks to Twitter, I was able to read a blow-by-blow account of the deal occurring on my phone after the fact, and I started to jot down a few thoughts that I had on the deal, which I will now share with you. First and foremost, the goalie market in the NHL is officially dead. If the waiving of Ilya Bryzgalov a few years ago was the first sign of the lack of value goalies carry in the NHL (to me, it isn’t the ‘new’ NHL any longer), the Halak trade was the final nail in the goalie market coffin.

 

Halak is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights (meaning he will probably won’t sign for anything less than $4 million per season), but he just led an undermanned and undersized Montreal team past both Washington and Pittsburgh in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

In no particular order...

 

1. The West gets stronger. The Blues improve mightily for the 2010-11 season. The Central Division now features Halak, Pekka Rinne, Antti Niemi, Jimmy Howard, and Steve Mason. Five pretty good young goalies.

 

2. Good drafting helps. Lars Eller is a terrific prospect. Many teams wouldn’t be able to move a quality offensive prospect and not skip a beat, but thanks to good drafting, the Blues had that luxury. TJ Oshie, David Perron, David Backes, Patrik Berglund, the list goes on.

 

3. Lars Eller. Aside from Jordan Eberle, Eller might be the most NHL ready prospect not in the league right now. He is big, strong, physical, solid defensively, boasts a terrific shot, and he sees the ice very well. He isn’t overly flashy, but he projects as a very capable second line center. He is a lock to make Montreal this fall – expect him to start off on the third line, but that could change if Tomas Plekanec is not re-signed.

 

4. The Carey Price obsession. All along, Montreal management has favoured Price. He has been the organization’s golden boy since being taken 5th overall in 2005. A lot of the criticism he has received over the past two years has been unwarranted. Hopefully Montreal brings in a steady, capable veteran (someone like Martin Biron) to help Price with his off-ice maturity and professionalism. He is a hell of a goalie and there are many out there who favour him over Halak (Dobber being one) in the long run.

 

5. The goalie market is dead. How does this impact the league going forward? Aside from the stars (Jack Campbell in the 2010 draft), I don’t see goalies going often during the first two rounds. Look at Cory Schneider – he was drafted out of high school in the 1st round by the Canucks in 2004, and he has developed into a fantastic young goalie. However, the Canucks would probably be lucky to get a 2nd round pick for him right now. Six years after drafting him, he is worth less than the asset used to select him in the first place. It’s not just Schneider either. The Kings probably won’t get much in return for Jonathan Quick if they decide to move him. It seems like the best way to get a goalie in the NHL is to wait until a team has two quality starters and then bounce (Miikka Kiprusoff, Tomas Vokoun, Craig Anderson, and so on).

 


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Comments (11)add comment

Repent Tokyo said:

repenttokyo
Jon I think the consensus is that both Seguin and Hall will contribute to their respective NHL teams right out of camp. To my mind, that makes them NHL ready.
June 18, 2010
Votes: +0

Jon Dey said:

Sovereign
NHL ready... Just because they are 1st or 2nd overall doesn't mean they are ready.
I think it unlikely that either will be a bust, but I think there are several players ahead of them, maybe with less skill, but physically more ready.

Nonetheless they will both make it out of camp I think.
June 18, 2010
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... I meant already drafted. I'll change.
June 17, 2010
Votes: +0

Repent Tokyo said:

repenttokyo
... are you sure that hall and seguin aren't the most nhl-ready prospects not in the league right now?
June 17, 2010
Votes: +0

RustyPickles said:

Rusty Pickles
... Niemi is RFA, no absolute certainty he returns to Chicago.
June 17, 2010
Votes: +0

FlyingTee said:

flying_tee
... Price and Halak are strong evidence to your point about the goalie market - where the 9th round pick has outperformed the 5th overall pick. Montreal would be in a much stronger position had they taken Kopitar instead of Price in the '05 draft, as they'd still have Halak in net.
June 17, 2010
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

fzusher
backup for Price I wouldn't vote for Biron. Other than the fact that he crapped his chances, he has the wrong mentality. Still fancies himself a potential starter.

What the Habs need is a guy whose been there through the highs and the lows of hockey, knows every situation, has a tough winning mentality but no starter ambitions, though can step in when necessary. And is cheap. How good he is and whether he is the best goalie available is secondary. In fact, you don't want a guy who is too good because you don't want Price looking over his shoulder.

My candidate is Manny Legace. He's got a ring, and had to start a season as a camp invitee and AHLer. Got to the Olympic final (as backup) - and lost. The right mentality, and not good enough to be a threat. I'd say perfect.

This could be a great poll topic - who should backup Price next season - Desjardins, Biron, Legace, Auld, Ellis, Lalime, Hedberg ...
June 17, 2010
Votes: +1

Rob said:

TheSchwab
Good Deal for MTL This is a great deal for Montreal. It gives Carey Price more confidence and motivation to have a solid bounce-back year (as I think he will). Halak, if you know anything about statistical metrics in hockey, played beyond his statistical potential last season. This means it is unlikely he will replicate his play in the postseason on a consistent basis down the road.

Good deal for MTL. Props to Bob Gainey for having the balls and selling a player while he's on his high. Price, when its all said and done, will have a better career than Halak. Also, remember that just Halak's rights were traded, that's why STL gave up so little.
June 17, 2010 | url
Votes: -1

notoriousjim said:

notoriousjim
... i agree that the drafted goalie market is dead. I never understood why teams drafted guys who are such long shots to make it. Most NHL goalies were either drafted late, or not at all. Thsoe that are drafted take at least 5 years to develop. There is a reason most 1st rounders are forwards.
June 17, 2010
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice... how does it go? I feel your pain, Biron wasn't kind to Flyer fans...
June 17, 2010
Votes: +0

duballstar014 said:

duballstar014
...
a steady, capable veteran (someone like Martin Biron)


Ha!!
June 17, 2010
Votes: +0
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