According to various sources, the Montreal Canadiens have shipped goaltender Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues in return for Lars Eller and Ian Schultz.
If you asked yourself ”who?” when looking at that trade, well, you wouldn’t be the only one.
Lars Eller looks like a decent prospect. Drafted 13th overall in the 2007 Entry Draft, Eller is a forward from Denmark (Really?). The 21 year old started his young career in Sweden before moving to Peoria this past season to play with the Rivermen of the AHL, where he accumulated 18 goals and 39 assists in 70 games. He also made his debut with the Blues, scoring 2 goals in 7 games.
Ian Schultz is a Right Winger from Calgary who has played the last 3 seasons with the Hitmen of the WHL. He’s had seasons on 30, 41, and 51 points respectively, not to mention PIM totals of 128, 127 and 150, again, respectively. Apparently he can throw ‘em, but beyond that there’s not much I can tell you about Ian Schultz (TCL Contributor Derrick Newman might be able to shed some light on this 20 year old).
That’s it folks. Two forward prospects who don’t have NHL experience, one of them who hasn’t played a professional hockey game yet. No top six forward who can help the team where it lacked this season, no young defenseman to complement for the serious lack of depth beyond what you saw this past season, nothing but prospects.
The real questions that need to be asked here are:
a) What what Pierre Gauthier thinking?
b) What are Gauthier’s intentions with this team going forward? Does he care about immediate success or is he satisfied with stockpiling prospects that might not even pan out?
c) Was there really nothing better available for Halak, arguably the MVP of the playoffs not to make the finals?
d) Seriously Pierre, WTF were you thinking?
I don’t want to play armchair GM here, but methinks someone who played as well as Halak did and brought the Canadiens to where they were this season could AT LEAST fetch a couple of roster players if packaged with the right players/prospects/picks/whatever going the other direction.
And considering the word is that Gauthier (or anyone else from the Habs camp, for that matter) didn’t even bother contacting Halak and his agent, outspoken Allan Walsh, to talk contract, trade, or even how the daisies smelled in Slovakia this time of year, is clearly an indication that there was no intention to keep Halak in this organization going forward, no matter what he did during the playoffs, and that Price was their man.
That’s all fine. If they want Carey Price to be their guy, then he’s their guy and this is a massive vote of confidence for the player and could have a great effect on him next season.
Problem is, the situation reeks of bad management, and poor, rash decision making.
Around the net people were talking about a Brad Boyes, Erik Johnson, or David Perron coming back in return, along with a first round draft pick.
Instead, we get Lars Eller (who could pan out to be a great NHLer in his own right, don’t get me wrong) and Ian Schultz (I still don’t know who that is).
Great job Gauthier. Turns out I was right about you all along. I cannot wait to see how you dig this team further into the ground at the draft and at free agency.
I will definitely have more to say about this tomorrow. For now, I think I’m going to have to lay down for a bit.
EDIT: According to Pierre Lebrun, the Habs get Lars Eller and Ian Shultz in return. Ugh, who?
According to TSN and RDS.
No details on what’s coming back the other way, but if I had to guess I’d say Perron and a 1st. Details will be added to this post shortly.
More to come,
About the Author: George Prax, born and raised in Montreal, offers a unique point of view when it comes to blogging. A devout Montrealer, Quebequois and Canadian, Prax is and always be a die hard Habs fan, one who feels it necessary to offer his view on the Canadiens, the NHL, and hockey happenings in general. Expect many articles on the Canadiens, some from the point of view of a fan, some from the point of view of a blogger and some more distant, but expect them often, and expect them full of passion. Prax, who has somewhat of an infamous reputation around the online hockey community, also has interests in music, movies, television, as well as politics, and they are nearly as deeply rooted as his love for hockey. Prax is the senior content editor at The Checking Line, a website devoted to offering the best hockey discussion around the net, one that features bloggers from all over the league, and one that's constantly growing. Visit www.thecheckingline.com for more of Prax's work.