Posted 9:21 AM ET | Comments 3
I've never posted an online blog but here it goes. In 700 word or less, I will try to give you my input on the Jaroslav Halak saga.
So what do I think about this whole ordeal? Well there are many things that have to be taken into consideration. Am I happy Halak was traded even though we stilled owned his rights? With most other teams I would’ve said no but as he had expressed interest in being traded many times before I would say yes. Montreal would’ve either A) overpaid as they so often do or B) offered him what I think he is worth (I’ll get back to this), Halak would’ve declined the offer and gone to arbitration and signed a one-year contract for $3-4M at least. If Montreal had agreed to arbitration then they would’ve been forced to sign him at that price. If someone had come and tried to take him from us at that price then we’d have gotten a first and third round pick since he was a restricted free agent; effectively, this is what we got for him anyway through the trade.
What has he proven? In a nutshell: not much and this is what most people, in my opinion, haven’t realized. He was great for 14 games in the playoffs (twice pulled in those games but no one’s perfect.) So what? He’s suppose to be an NHL caliber goalie. All he did was his job. He’s not a superstar, not yet anyway. Say some average colleague of yours suddenly started doing a great job for a few weeks; would your boss give them that big promotion just because of that? He played 45 games in the regular season and beat out the inept competition in the first round and more tired competition in the second round of the playoffs. I don’t think anyone will disagree that he started to look weary toward the end and his performance showed it. Not saying he was to blame but he played average at best in the third round against Philly. Anyway, so after 54 games he was spent. There were 18 goalies this year who played more than that in the regular season alone. True number one goalies don’t get tired after 54 games or even 59, when his season ended. The likes of Brodeur, Luongo, Kiprusoff, Miller and Fleury, to name a few (not the top five in games played by the way), played on average 70.8 in the regular season…that’s 57% more than Halak! I know that it wasn’t his choice to only play 45 regular season games but what has proven to be his Achilles heel in the past seems to have been the cause to his downfall once again. So even after Montreal’s great run, he’s still an unproven goalie making him worth about $2M in my books; max $2.5M. What about his save percentage and other stats? Well when you allow 30+ rebounds a game you’re bound to start padding your stats (no pun intended.)
Are we better or worse? Did Montreal make the right choice? Let me start off by saying YOU DON’T NEED INCREDIBLE GOALTENDING TO WIN THE CUP! Other than Hasek in the late 90s (and this was in the proverbial ‘old-NHL’), Detroit had nobodies or has-beens in their cup runs over the last decade. Same can be said for this year’s finalists. Can Price provide the goaltending that these teams had? I think yes. Is Montreal anything like those teams? No. Would Price have taken Montreal as far had he been number 1? We’ll never know but probably not. That said, would Halak be able to do it again? Probably not as well. Point is, Montreal had a choice to make this year: Halak, Price or both. Keeping both would’ve resulted is two disgruntled young goalies who are in key development stages of their careers. Halak vs Price? A decision had to be made between the two and only time will tell if it was the right one. Halak has had a better resume up until now but who is going to have a better career? Time will tell. All I can say for now is that the sky is not falling in Montreal.