Curtis Sanford In, Halak Out?

Felix SicardCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2009

MONTREAL- DECEMBER 21:  Jaroslav Halak #41 of the Montreal Canadiens waits for a shot during the warm up period prior to facing the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre on December 21, 2008 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Hurricanes defeated the Canadiens 3-2 in overtime.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

After today's signing of Curtis Sanford by Bob Gainey, speculation has arisen all over the web that this means that Jaroslav Halak is on his way out of La Belle Province.

Although it is a bit premature to start speculating, the speculation is not all unjustified. After all, it would be tough to imagine that Bob Gainey went out to sign a goalie of Sanford's caliber to play in the AHL.

No, this signing most likely means that Jaroslav Halak's days in Montreal are numbered. 

All of last season analysts and fans alike have been saying that Carey Price needed a veteran backup to show him the ropes, and it would have probably been very beneficial for him.

Price's best season so far (after a whopping two) was when Cristobal Huet was on the team for the majority of the season. This season, it was obvious that Price could have used some veteran guidance, as we saw many times when he would have temper tantrums after games that were very uncharacteristic of him.

It is sad to see that management hasn't shown much faith in Halak, especially after he nearly saved the Canadien's season in 2006-07, as well as having stolen four critical games in a row this year where he faced an average of 41.8 shots and only allowed an average of two goals per game. 

Perhaps the best thing Gainey could do for Halak would be to trade him. He definitely has  all the tools to be a starter in the NHL, and all he really needs is a team that will give him that opportunity.

Gainey made it clear this season that he wants Carey Price to be the Canadien's goalie of the present and of the future, so why let Halak toil any longer behind Price, especially when they could trade him and get some decent return?

The signing of Curtis Sanford has opened the door for management to trade Halak (and probably Plekanec) to get that  big center that the team has been needing for so long.

Could a deal for Vincent Lecavalier still be in the works?