Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I don’t know why you had to trade him eight days before the NHL entry draft. I wasn’t shocked he was traded, what shocked me was he was traded eight days before the entry draft, before everybody could get hot and heavy, having his name filtered out there. There were no rumours at all ... I mean there was nothing. There was never even an attempt to create a marketplace for him.
“If the Canadiens think that was the best deal they could have got for Jaroslav Halak, I would beg to differ, and I would argue that with them because I know of some teams that were absolutely shocked that he was traded and they didn’t even get a call.”
-Pierre MdGuire. More on this topic from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette.
The Blues are heading in the right direction, no question about it. I expect them, 100 percent, to be in the playoffs next year.”
-Keith Tkachuk. More from Keith by Ryan Dixon of The Hockey News.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has re-signed forward Cam Janssen to a one-year contract extension.
“Cam has been a tremendous teammate and we’re happy to have him back for another season,” said Armstrong.
“St. Louis is my home and always will be,” said Janssen. “We have a great group of guys and I’m looking forward to start the season.”
added 2:49pm, Pierre LeBrun reports via twitter the deal is $600K.
via Nick Kypreos tweet,
Blues Doug Armstrong wastes no time getting ex- Canadian playoff hero Jaro Halak signed, sealed delivered. Done 4 yrs 15M. 3.75M cap/hit
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a four-year contract.
“Jaroslav will be a big help for our organization moving forward,” said Armstrong. “He has made a great commitment to the Blues as he enters the prime of his career.”
“I’ve been looking forward to playing in St. Louis ever since the trade was announced,” said Halak. “I believe in my abilities and hope to do some good things for the Blues.”
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has re-signed forward Brad Winchester.
Winchester, 29, played in 64 games this past season, recording eights points (three goals, five assists) and a career-high 108 penalty minutes. During the 2008-09 campaign, the 6-5, 231-pound forward registered career-highs in points (21), goals (13) and assists (eight).
Winchester has skated in 247 career NHL games with the Blues, Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars, collecting 42 points (21 goals, 21 assists) along with 350 penalty minutes.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
...as Pleau sat at the Blues’ draft table in Los Angeles last week, it hit him like a Bobby Plager hip check. His final day under contract as GM is Wednesday.
“It’s kind of sad, there’s no doubt about it ... because you’ve been there for a long time,” said Pleau, who is the third-longest tenured GM in the NHL. “But we did it for the right things. It’s going to give me a lot more time with (his wife) Wendy. I’ve got no complaints, 13 years here, it was a great run.”
In 1997, Pleau became the 10th GM in Blues history, succeeding Ron Caron. Pleau “is ready to manage in the NHL,” Caron declared at the time.
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford:
The old adage in hockey is that a team never can have enough defensemen. Well, the Blues are proving that wrong, at least when it comes to stockpiling young defenders.
Of the club’s last seven first-round picks, four play on the blue line. With the trade of forward Lars Eller last week, the team’s highest remaining draft pick in each of the past four years is a defenseman: Erik Johnson in 2006, Ian Cole in ‘07, Alex Pietrangelo in ‘08 and David Rundblad and Brett Ponich in ‘09.
With the 14th pick in this week’s NHL draft, which begins with the first round at 6 p.m. (St. Louis time) Friday in Los Angeles, the Blues aren’t expected to be in the running for another defenseman in the first round.
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford:
Former Blue Lars Eller spoke with the Team 990 radio station in Montreal today and said that he is looking forward to playing for the Montreal Canadiens.
And he thinks it could be this season. “What (Montreal GM Pierre Gauthier) told me was that they were happy to have gotten me in this trade,” said Eller, who went to the Habs Thursday in the trade that brought goalie Jaroslav Halak to St. Louis. “He said I have a good chance to make that Montreal team. It’s going to be up to me.
“That was my goal in St. Louis, to make that club this year. I’m going to have the same mindset coming into Montreal. I know that Montreal has a big fan base and there are big expectations for the team and the players as well. But I put pressure on myself. I see this in a positive way.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
How do you erase the Canadiens’ stunning postseason victories over the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins? Easy.
What you do, if you’re Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier, is trade the guy who got them there in what for now must stand as the mother-of-all brain-dead decisions in recent memory.
What was this guy thinking of ?
Where was Gauthier on those nights when Jaroslav Halak was winning regular-season and playoff games with more than 40 shots to handle? Downtown Minsk? Where was Gauthier on the night Halak wasn’t beaten until Washington’s 52nd shot in another astonishing winning performance?
from Bernie Miklasz of theSt. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Yes, the Blues really do have a new general manager taking office on July 1. As if to announce that to the hockey world, Doug Armstrong pulled off the first blockbuster of the NHL’s offseason, trading former Blues No. 1 draft choice Lars Eller and another prospect to Montreal for goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
Armstrong hasn’t officially taken over ... but he’s definitely taken over. As first moves go, this one got the Blue Note bouncing.
The Blues have been looking in rinks in North America, around the globe and all but scanning the services-offered section on Craig’s List in a frustrating search for a money goaltender since ... well, take your pick. You could say Curtis Joseph, or Mike Luit, or go into the way-back machine to cite Glenn Hall. Mike Keenan would nominate Grant Fuhr.
The Blues think they’ve found their man in Halak, 25.
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