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What the Halak is all this Talk About? Where would Halak go?

Cody ChenierCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2008

There has been a lot of talk lately about Halak and the need to trade him. Well to give an idea of what Montreal would lose and the other team would gain, I have made a small comparison and some likely trades Gainey and the crew would conjure up for out beloved No. 2 goalie.

Quick look back on goalies being traded from Montreal and you can see the harsh reality—We get buck all...

Huet: Traded to Washington for a second round draft pick (We could of done better and gotten at least a thirrd or fourth line with the pick)

Plante: Traded to NYR with Phil Goyette and Don Marhall in exchange for Gump Worsley, Dave Balon, Leon Rochefort, and Len Ronson. Phil and Don proved very important to NYR over the next couple seasons and Plante was great in his season with NYR. Though Gump was above average, he did not compare to Plante's play and only Dave Balon proved vital for the Montreal Canadiens.

Roy: He was traded for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky, and Andrei Kovalenko to the newly NHL joined Colorado Avalanche. This trade was one of the biggest mistakes as Roy won two more Stanley Cups with Colorado, and the players Montreal acquired made barely an impact for the Habs in the years to come.

Theodore: Traded to Colorado for David Aebischer. He was our No.1 Goalie at the time and David proved he could not make a save on even a beach ball. For shame for shame.

Now back to the matter at hand—Halak. Now, how much is his real-estate worth in the NHL? With a quick look at his stats 3-4-1, .918 SV% and a 2.38 GAA. Not bad stats for a backup goalie considering he does not have that many wins.

So who will the infamous Halak go to? Well, first we have to decide which NHL teams need a No. 1 goalie or a decent No. 2 goalie to provide coverage. At a quick glance, I see St. Louis Blues, Phoenix, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Edmonton, Toronto and Florida. Those are the teams I believe could use Halak to their advantage. And here is why...

St.Louis: This team needs some dire rebuilding. They have Chris Mason and Manny Legace. Both terrific goalies in their own right, but are not consistent. Legace is looking to the end of his career in another two or three if things do not shape up for him so hes out of the picture for the Blues. Mason proves to be a much needed fresh voice for the Blues and can take up the No. 1 position if he did not have a 3-9-1 campaign. But in all due fairness his D-men and forwards are not helping. That is why my prediction would be...

Halak and Guillaume Latendresse for Roman Polak or B.J Crombeen. Polak is a great defence defenceman who stays in his own end and pawns on coming forwards, while B.J. provides good offence for the talent around him. Latendresse provides a go-to-guy for the Blues while not losing much depth for the Canadiens.

Phoenix: Ilya Bryzgalov is doing horrible. I put little blame on his forwards (Shane Doan and Jokinen) and a lot on his D-Men, with only Ed Jovanovski and Derek Morris who are above average. With a 10-11-2 .905 SV% and 2.94 GAA, Ilya Bryzgalov would not be on the roster for long. With backup Mikael Tellqvist, you can imagine the scare most Coyotes fans get at the mention of their names. If a trade were to happen between them, I predict...

Halak and Mathieu Dandenault for possibly Tellqvist and a fifth defensemen like Ken Klee who can provide a lot of blocked shots and hard hits. Or a Zbynek Michalek who can provide offence on the defensive end. If not Tellqvist, I recommend a nice second liner in Mikkel Boedker (6-9-15) and possibly Klee. Since Dandenault would provide more offence while not losing the defence he provides.

Ottawa: Possibly my favourite of the choices. Halak would be a great No. 1 goalie to relieve Alex Auld and Martin Gerber, who although it is not their fault, their main line is the sole reason they are competing, but because both goalies are past their prime and Halak would be a breath of fresh air. Gerber 2-5-1 .916 SV% and 2.51 is slightly shameful and they need to rebuild. With only four players above 20 points and the next highest is 10 points, the Sens need all the help they can get. I would recommend...

Halak with Robert Lang for Mike Fisher and Filip Kuba. Now I hear the protests, why Lang? Well he provides more depth for Sens in the second line with his 10-11-21. Now I wanted to get a nice Spezza or Heatley, but I knew Murray would not part with his No. 1 line without dishing more talent. So I went with the next best thing. Fisher may not have that many points, but he proves to be a solid second or third line center who can flare up a crowd and score game winning goals. Kuba on the other hand gives us a much wanted offensive defencemen besides Markov. His 1-19-20 proves he can give the Habs much needed goals.

Tampa Bay: I this team looks good at first glance, but why all the failure? Mike Smith (5-11-7) is supposed to be the future and with newly acquired Future Hall-of-Famer Olaf Kolzig, I am puzzled why the constant downfall of this once great NHL team. It is because his forwards cannot score and because Smith is not that consistent, though his GAA is good compared to his losses (2.51). So here is my prediction...

Halak with Chris Higgins or Josh Gorges for Ryan Malone and/or Jussi Jokinen. People look at me in awe as if I am crazy. Slightly, but not in hockey. Malone quarterbacks the PP hands down a great talent. Jokinen will repay the loss in scoring from Higgins. Higgins provides more consistent points, but lacks the prowess Jokinen has. We might get Smith or Kolzig with an added player but I am sure they would not trade unless Kolzig is out of the picture.

Los Angeles: Jason LaBarbera is not that great a goalie with only five wins in 16 starts, a 2.75 GAA and a .89 SV%. Take out the shine of his two shut outs this season. Erik Ersberg is doing better with 8-5-2 but his GAA and SV% are close to LaBarbera. And it is not the fault of the forwards or the d-men, on the sheet they are pretty steady with seven players around the 20 point mark. The d-men are more defensive in aspects to provide more coverage. It is just the soft goals that the goalies let in that makes them weak. My predictions are...

Halak solely for Labarbera and Drew Doughty or Jarret Stoll. Doughty is a first round draft pick in 2008 and would give Montreal a great player to look ahead to. Stoll (8-8-16) is a more defensive forward, but gives a lot to the team and is a great asset. With the consistency Halak provides, I do not see why LA can pass this up.

Edmonton: They split their goal-tending between three goalies, Dwayne Rolston (6-4-2), Mathieu Garon (5-6-0) and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (3-2-0) The last two are somewhat unknown, but Rolston is the face of Edmonton. But he needs a good back up. Halak would prove a healthy choice as the other two goalies GAA is over three and SV% is under .900. I predict a trade with...

Halak and Bouillon or Brisebois for Garon and a third d-man Denis Grebeshkov (1-11-12) Edmonton would want to get rid of a goalie and would pick Garon because of his larger inconsistency. We would ship him to Hamilton and call up Marc Denis in his place (great veteran for Price) as for Grebeshkov, he is great on the PP and proves reliable and a point getter for Edmonton. As much as I would like to have Souray back with the Habs, he has shown his love for his home province and would rather like staying there.

Toronto: I could sense your impatience. Okay, the goalie situation is kinda dire but not bleak in Leaf town. Toskala (11-9-5) with a .906 SV% and 3.06 GAA is in dire need of reshaping. Do not even get me started on Joseph (I would rather drink Oprah's fat through a filthy hobo straw then talk about him). In all due respect as a Habs fan, the Leafs blow and it is due too their inconsistency in the net. The players are pretty good looking at the situation they are in (no Sundin and no Tucker) Mikhail Grabovski has proven worthwhile and a great future player. So I place blame on the goalies with a few mistakes made by the d-men. My prediction is...

Halak and Gorges possible with a player from Hamilton (Leafs like prospects) for either of the goalies (hopefully Toskala, but I doubt it) and a combination of Jason Blake, Mike Van Ryn, and maybe Niklas Hagman if we throw in Latendresse or someone else. Blake (5-11-16)  has not been up to his same standards since buddy Tucker left, so he is easy picking. Van Ryn (3-5-8) ties the deal together with a nice consistent record in the past. He has not found his ground yet, but in a year or two with Montreal on a line with Dan could prove great. Hagman (8-11-19) is just a fool's hope that the Leafs are that desperate for a good goalie. His previous season with the Stars, 27-14-41 shows he is a great goal scorer so I doubt Leafs will trade him. As for the reason I picked Gorges. Along with a great goalie, needs a great defence, Gorges provides that, but we also have Komisarek and Hamrlik, and not to mention Markov.

Florida: Vokoun (6-10-0) .912 SV% and 2.95 GAA seems to be out of his league here and on the way to Rochester. Craig Anderson on the other hand 8-3-3 with three shutouts seems to have given new life to Florida his .940 and 2.15 GAA have the Panthers skipping with glee and the once prominent No. 2 goalie looks to jump one step ahead. Halak would contend Anderson for the No. 1 position and if either got the No. 1 position they could rest easy knowing their former would be at the stead ready for action. My predictions are...

Halak with Higgins and Latendresse or Lapierre. For Vokoun, if he does not retire or move along  with Zednik, Stephen Weiss, Brian McCabe, Nathan Horton, and possibly David Booth. With the exception of Zednik the other players are in the top eight of the team but nota single player has over 20 points. With Higgins, Latendresse, and Lapierre they would get much needed scoring and prowess. I chose Zednik because in Montreal he was a great player and I was just showing admiration if nothing else. Weiss (5-11-16) is a great player on the PP and PK getting most points on those shifts. McCabe (4-8-12) is a reliable defenceman who can score. Horton (6-7-13) is a reliable right winger who gives back on what he gets. Booth 12-2-14, need I say more he is a goal scorer and nothing else.

Well I enjoyed sharing my predictions and hope you enjoyed reading them. All in all, Halak would prove worth-while to any team and I am glad the Habs have him.

Remember, Keep your stick on the ice, and Happy Hockey.

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