Those that know me, know that I am a Carey Price supporter. I’m not afraid to say it. I appreciate the work that Halak did in the playoffs, but I have maintained that Price is the future of the franchise.
I spent many a night worrying what was going to happen after the heroics of Halak last spring. I wondered, “Is management really going to let this effect their gameplan? Are they going to throw away this kid with SOOO much potential for a 6th round, 1 season wonder?”
When the news came through that Halak had been traded to the St. Louis Blues for prospects Lars Eller and Ian Schultz, I did what every other Habs fan did. I googled them cuz I’d never heard of them. This is not to say that these are nothing, no name prospects by any means. Quite the contrary. It just says a bunch about us Habs fans, and our inability, if not merely shortsightedness to look anywhere but down the pipe of our beloved Canadiens.
What I found when I looked up these players made my heart speed up. A big center with good hands who’s not afraid to go in the corners? (anyone still begging for Vinnie?) A scrapping winger who is always ready to throw down for his teammates, and has the hands to put the puck in the net? I’ve died and gone to heaven!
As I sat there watching Youtube video after Youtube video of young Schultz pummeling tough guy after tough guy, I got very excited. There hasn’t been a player of this style and caliber in the Habs system in a loooooong time. (I don’t want to hear anyone say Gregory Stewart’s name in response to this. Puh-lease!)
Let me get back on topic here. If you were to consider what we would have gotten for Carey Price at the same time as this trade was done, you would have to be out of your mind to think it would have drawn better results. People have questioned Gauthier’s timing, saying he rushed into this trade and could have waited for a better payout. I suppose these same people think that Gauthier has been sitting on his hands since taking over for Bob last year. I’m of the belief that Gauthier has been targeting these kids for a while. This was intentional. This was what he wanted. I don’t know that St. Louis would have made the trade after a couple months. Halak’s stock was incredibly high after the playoffs. It had nowhere to go but down.
Let me get back to Price here. This kid is a stud. He has won everything he’s ever done. I personally am happy he hasn’t been a superstar yet. If he was, we wouldn’t have signed him for as little as we did. We wouldn’t have been able to keep Plekanec. We’d have had a goalie reach his prime much earlier than the team around him was ready to support him. (Halak anyone?)
Why do I think Price has what it takes and Halak doesn’t?
- His stature. At 6′-3″ 220 lbs. This kid fills the net. Halak is 5′-11″ and 179 lbs. People, that is 4″ and 40 lbs of human!
- His pedigree. Del Wilson Trophy, CHL Goaltender of the Year Award, Calder Cup, Jack Butterfield Trophy (Youngest player ever), NHL Rookie of the Month (March 2008), NHL first star of the Week (Ending April 6, 2008), Northeast Division Title (first since Patrick Roy in 1991), 1st in Eastern Conference (2008), Starting Goalie NHL All Star Game 2009
- This save
- And this one
- How about this one?
- Fine. One more.
- He has dealt with the worst of Montreal fans and STILL wants to play here!
Does anyone remember Bill Durnan? He played professional hockey for 7 years, all with the Canadiens. In those 7 years he won the Vezina Trophy 6 times and was Captain for part of a season. He was booed before every game.
My point is, basically, Habs fans need to stop remembering this