Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
Hard to tell who was more surprised about Thursday’s Montreal-St. Louis trade - the goaltenders involved, the agents, the media or the teams’ fans. Aside from the two organizations themselves, no one seemed to know it was coming.
Carey Price’s representative almost dropped the phone when we spoke. Jaroslav Halak is stunned that Montreal never contacted him after the season, meaning the Blues didn’t even try to talk contract before making the deal. Tom Laidlaw, who represents Chris Mason, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “They gave us every indication they wanted Chris to be the guy.”
This is the money quote from Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier: “When we discuss players, we discuss what they are going to do in the future. ... We made this decision based on our projections, and we’re very comfortable with [Price] as the future.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Sure there’s going to be extra angst in Montreal today. That’s extra, because when it comes to the Montreal Canadiens, the most successful team in the history of hockey, angst is a daily reality no matter the circumstances.
But the trading of goalie Jaroslav Halak today to St. Louis for prospects Lars Eller and Ian Schultz is sure to cause dismay among those who saw in Halak this spring the next Ken Dryden or the next Patrick Roy, rather than the next Steve Penney.
The Habs, way back when, didn’t deal Dryden right after he stunned the Boston Bruins in the ‘71 playoffs, did they?
Well, that was then is and this is now, a salary cap era in which tough decisions that don’t necessarily have to do with the respective talents of players have to be made regularly.
RDS (not translated) is reporting that Halak has been traded to the Blues.
added 2:56pm, Translation now available,
The Canadiens finally traded Jaroslav Halak according to the St. Louis Blues that RDS has learned. For the moment, it is unclear what the Canadiens will get in return.
added 3:02pm, via a Bob McKenzie tweet,
Halak to the St. Louis Blues. Done deal.
added 3:09pm, via Pierre LeBrun tweet,
Habs get Eller and Schultz in return from Blues
added 3:15pm, a Nick Kypreos tweet,
I also hear that Blues made deal without talking contract with Halak so don’t expect any new big immediate announcement on that front.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced Thursday the club has acquired goaltender Jaroslav Halak from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forwards Lars Eller and Ian Schultz.
“Jaroslav’s play in this year’s regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs was remarkable,” said Davidson. “He has had very impressive numbers in the NHL and we are thrilled that he will be wearing the Bluenote for us.”
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Now that the Chicago Blackhhawks have finally won another Stanley Cup, perhaps the Blues can win one, too.
There are some interesting parallels. Both teams endured long playoff droughts. Both did heavy retooling through the draft, piling up lots of high draft picks.
Both teams lost or fired the executives and coaches who oversaw the organizational overhaul.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues have finally offered definition to their goaltending plans for next season, opening discussions this week on a contract extension for Chris Mason.
Nearly two months have passed since the end of the Blues’ season, but with three weeks left before the start of free agency, the club says there’s plenty of time to get a deal done with its starter of the past 1½ seasons.
“We all know the ground rules,” Blues President John Davidson said. “It sounds generic, but it depends on dollars and depends on terms. Both sides have to decide what they want to do or it’ll go to July 1.”
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that former Blue Scott Mellanby has re-joined the organization as Assistant Coach to Davis Payne’s staff. He is currently a Pro Scout with Vancouver and will serve that role until July 15th.
“I’m excited to add a quality person like Scott to our staff, who was highly respected as a player on and off the ice,” said Head Coach Davis Payne. “He has great knowledge of the game and will be a valuable addition to our staff.”
“In my current role with Vancouver I have scouted many Blues games and feel this team, with this talent, is headed in the right direction,” said Mellanby. “St. Louis is my home and my family and I are thrilled to be back in the Blues organization.”
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Hours after Keith Tkachuk’s retirement news conference had ended Tuesday, the stage and chairs inside the Scottrade Center atrium remained in position.
That’s because the Blues will hold another news conference today, in which the club will announce Davis Payne will have the interim tag removed from his name and become the 23rd head coach of the franchise.
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