According to the Web Staff over at Sportsnet, the Montreal Canadiens are actively shopping Jaroslav Halak (H/T to crashthecrease.com).
The 24-year-old netminder is 6-4-0 in 11 games, including an impressive 46 save effort against the Ottawa Senators. Earlier in the year the Czech native amassed a four game win streak, an feat when you consider how injury riddled and weak the Montreal defense has been.
A quick look around the league shows a handful of teams needing depth between the pipes. The Flyers lost starter Ray Emery for six weeks leaving their team to the fate of Brian Boucher. The Oilers may have to rely on Jeff Deslauriers longer than they would like while Nikolai Khabibulin sits at home with a bad back. Pascal Leclaire remains on the sidelines as he watches Brian Elliot inconsistently block pucks.
Perhaps the most interesting rumor circulating involves Darren Helm and the Red Wings. As earlier whispered here. Does Halak really offer an upgrade to Jimmy Howard or the legendary Chris Osgood?
A quick look says no.
Even with an improved defense in front of him, I cannot see Halak posting a lower GAA than Howard’s current 2.45. His career GAA sits evenly at 2.80, while Howard’s at 2.56. An argument can be made that Halak has a better career SV%, edging his hypothetical teammate by a meager two points.
Halak certainly would see less shots if he moved teams, but I see the trade as lateral move. Ken Holland earned GM of the decade for a reason, I cannot see him making a move that in all honesty second guesses his drafting and development as well as not filling a glaring need. The Wings need more consistent primary and secondary scoring. You know, the production that left with Marian Hossa, Jiri Hudler, Tomas Kopecky and Mikael Samuelsson.
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