Goaltender Jaroslav Halak, a key component of the Montreal Canadiens run to the Eastern Conference Finals this past season, has been dealt to the St. Louis Blues according to a report by RDS.
ESPN is reporting that the Habs will receive forward Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. Eller was a first-round pick of St. Louis in 2007 and Schultz was a 2008 third-round pick. Eller appeared in seven games with the big club as he spent the rest of the season with Peoria of the AHL. Schultz played his third junior season in 2009-10 with Calgary of the Western Hockey League.
For the past two seasons, Halak split time between the pipes with Carey Price, but Halak’s game seemed to improve after his run with Slovakia in the Vancouver Olympics. He finished with a 26-13-5 regular-season record, a 2.40 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. In the playoffs, Halak had a 2.55 GAA and .923 save percentage in 18 games.
This is a risky move for St. Louis, as Halak becomes a restricted free-agent on July 1 and is eligible for salary arbitration. In two seasons, he becomes a unrestricted free-agent. This is the second goalie they acquired in consecutive summers. They acquired Ty Conklin from Detroit last off season, and Chris Mason, who started 61 games last season. Mason does enter this summer as a unrestricted free-agent, and with his $3 Million salary and Halak’s $800,000 salary from last season, they will let Mason walk and go into next season with a Halak-Conklin duo in net.