Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues? For a Danish centre named Lars Eller and young Calgary Hitman Ian Schultz?
I need to get my head around this one and it might take some time.
Is it possible that Carey Price will now become the goalie we thought he’d be after this vote of confidence from the Montreal brass? Or have we just become a basement dwellar to end all basement dwellars?
Thank you Jaro for almost single-handedly eliminating the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. The team would have been gonzo in a big hurry without you, but you stood on your head as you were peppered and crashed into, and you turned a dismal season for the Montreal Canadiens into a raving success.
And for all that, you’re sent to St. Louis.
What did we get in return? A 21 year old centre named Lars Eller. And who is Lars Eller, you ask? Hey, everybody knows Lars Eller. He’s the guy who played 7 games for the Blues where he notched 2 goals and zero assists. And before that he was in Peoria, and before that he………never mind. It’s not important. It’s not what you’ve done before, it’s what you plan on doing now.
Ian Schultz is the guy who might make a difference. He was a co-captain with the Calgary Hitman so he has the leadership thing going. Of course, Tom Kostopoulos had the leadership thing too and he’s a Carolina Hurricane now.
In Schultz’s last season in Calgary, he racked up 55 points in 70 games which is more than decent. But most importantly, he’s a guy who plays with an edge who happens to have hands to go along with his grit. This is good. One thing the team needs and didn’t have was a real player who was also a real fighter. Georges Laraque didn’t fall into this category. And Travis Moen doesn’t either.
How great would it be to see a young fellow who knows how to score, dropping his gloves and causing havoc with the brutes of other teams. He has a chance to be an extremely important piece of the puzzle. I just hope it doesn’t take a few years before he finds himself.
The bottom line is, the Habs picked up two guys who might help, although Eller hasn’t exactly provided thrills and spills in his hockey career. But now we’re relying on Price in nets and frankly, he hasn’t cut it yet in the show. It makes me nervous. There will be no Jaroslav Halak to make things right again when the world appears to be ending.
I’ve had a quick look at the various forums out there to see what others are thinking, and it seems that many think it’s a good move for the Habs, and at least as many or more think it’s one of the worst deals in the history of deals. But I come back to what I think, and I remember what Halak did in the playoffs, and I remember the nerve wracking nights when Price was between the pipes.
And when the going got tough, it was Halak doing the job while Price cheered him on from the bench.
Maybe Price, now given the number one job, will be lights out every night and we’ll soon forget about Halak and carry on our merry way. The question, the really big question is, what if Price is hot and cold and mediocre and disappointing, on a regular basis? Or sometimes all of the above during the same game. Then we’re screwed. We can have a team of Gretzky, Rocket, Orr, Mario, Sid, and a dozen other beauties, but if the goaltending isn’t up to scratch, all it becomes is a team of stars that doesn’t make the playoffs.
I need to think about this more. I’m not a fence-sitter, but the Canadiens just gave up the goalie we relied on and they handed the keys to the car to the goalie we’ve scratched our heads over.
I’m just going to say, if the Canadiens are through dealing goalies and Price is the number one guy next fall, then I might have to start biting my fingernails again.
Here’s hoping Carey Price has grown up and is ready to be The Guy.