Thursday, June 17, 2010

Habs Management Get Fleeced in Unnecessary Trade

So we can put an end to discussions of RFA goaltending dilemmas. Today, Pierre Gauthier traded save percentage ace Jaroslav Halak for 2 St. Louis prospects in a move more reminiscent of the Montreal Expos than anything from the more illustrious periods of Canadiens history.

No explanations have been disclosed, but one must assume there was something in the contract talks that made this move necessary. Perhaps the young goalie was asking the moon.

But as much as I like Plekanec and all the other free agents, Halak's contract should have been the first one onto the books this summer. Adjustments should have been made afterwards.

It would even make sense in terms of trading, as a young star with a contract will most often fetch more than a young star without one (witness return on this trade).

More worrying, perhaps is that the team did not get a goaltender in return (though we still have months for that) as entrusting the full starting load to Carey Price at the moment is a gamble at best.

The return

Lars Eller is a forward from Denmark who once had his touts, but whose name hasn't been heard in these parts for some time. He's already been slotted in on the Canadiens page on Hockey's Future, with the discouraging rank of "Other Notable"

Here's what the scout said on him there:
Eller has decent size, is a good skater with very good technical skills. He also works hard and is in general very well-rounded as a player. His scoring touch is pretty good, but Eller is much more noticeable as a playmaker. He has really good hockey sense and has that special ability to find openings that few other players can. A team player, he plays a good two-way game, but could still use some fine-tuning in his defensive game and play without the puck.

Eller is projected to become a two-way forward, second line, in the NHL one day.


Ian Schultz is even less exciting, and to be honest, this is the first time I've ever heard his name.

Hockey's Future has a line on him too:
Schultz gets noticed for his physical play more than for his offensive skill. Schultz could eventually become a power forward, but he may also develop into a solid grinding winger.

Not a great return. Not considering Halak's save percentage had been over 0.920 for near 8 months and his career record in the NHL suggests he might flirt with those numbers again.

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