Yes, Please

In today’s EJ Jim Matheson suggests Montreal will deal Jaroslav Halak this summer. Matty talks about Colorado being a possible destination but Edmonton would be a solid choice.

Halak’s SP last year was .915 in 34 big league games. He’s 24-years old in May and his resume looks rock solid. SP’s down through the years include numbers like .942 (Slovakia), .927, .932 and .929 (AHL) and NHL totals like .906 (in 16 2006-07 games) and .934 (in a half dozen games during the 2007-08 season).

The idea gains momentum when adding in the fact that the Habs have all kinds of cap room along with the associated needs that come from losing your entire team to free agency.

THIS makes sense. Halak’s career is at the exact point where he’s likely to have a shot at the number 1 job in the show, and the Oilers could pick up a goalie making $800,000 in 09-10 who would be at the very least a co-number one.

I don’t know who the Habs might want in return but they have needs everywhere.

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47 Responses to "Yes, Please"

  1. Quinn says:

    I like the idea of a Halak, or a Craig Anderson, or any of those capable 1B goalies playing in Edmonton next season. Spending less than 3 mill for two good-ish goalies who can step in to play whenever the other one stops being hot would be an outstanding start to the year. Then, send JDD down to Springfield and you have two good goalies playing there to develop some more. Or, lose him on waivers and have extra contract room for other good prospects to poach from cap-constricted teams (assuming the Oil buy-out, dump/trade or hide contracts in the AHL next season).

  2. Jonathan Willis says:

    In the same column Matheson mentions that the Panthers may be looking to move Tomas Vokoun and retain Craig Anderson.

    I’d be happy with Vokoun in Edmonton.

  3. doritogrande says:

    I think Montreal would be looking at draft picks in exchange for Halak. That team needs to enter rebuild mode if they’re to be successful in a couple years.

    I’d offer up one of the defensive prospects (Petry, Wild) and a 2nd round pick in exchange for Halak.

  4. Bank Shot says:

    Surely the Oilers can afford to part with one of their “top six” wingers.

    The Habs love them some one dimensional forwards with slick hands so I bet there is a deal to be made here.

  5. Lowetide says:

    I think they’re more likely to want players who step right in. Would you deal Smid for Halak?

  6. Lord Bob says:

    It would be easier to list current Oilers I wouldn’t deal for Halak.

    Let me see. Gagner, Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner, Visnovsky.

    Everybody else? Fair game.

  7. NormanMendoza says:

    Jonathan,

    Vokoun has a NMC so would have to be in agreement with a move — is he friends with Ales Hemsky too?

    Both Anderson and Vokoun were top tier in SV PCT in the regular season. How bad was that team that they could have top shelf goaltending and not make the post-season. (Luongo years included)

    If FLA would take a bunch of salary in trade then I could get into the Vokoun deal. Maybe Penner, Staios for Vokoun + a D

  8. Anonymous says:

    Unless Montreal is looking for the moon, I think that’s a deal you have to do. Halak could definately be a long term goaltending solution for this team. I’d be okay with parting with Smid or Cogliano in order to clear up our goaltending question marks.

  9. Traktor says:

    The Canadians are probably going to be looking for size in the top 6 after the Bruins shit-kicked them.

    Smid is a nice asset but there’s probably 5 or 6 teams that would push hard for Halak if he were to come available.

    I don’t know if we’re a good trading partner to be honest.

  10. Traktor says:

    I think Halak will end up in Philadelphia. The Flyer forward crop is much better than ours and I don’t think they’re satisfied with Biron.

    Or if Colorado goes into full rebuild maybe Smyth gets asked to move is NTC.

    I think Cogs is fair value but I really can’t see them asking for another small forward for a premium asset like Halak.

    I think it would take Grebs or Gilbert to get it done.

  11. Scarlett says:

    I really like Halak and have for some time now. I really think Edm should go after him.

    Yes I’d deal Smid for Halak. Oilers need a goalie more than a defenseman, especially when they have a cupboard full of d-men.

  12. Easilee says:

    If you are willing to deal solid roster players, or prospects isn’t Rask out of Boston also an option. More expensive, and younger than Halak, but bigger upside imo.

  13. Showerhead says:

    *awakens from post-exam period induced coma*

    Halak? I’d be more than happy. Solves any and all problems with regard to Roloson (makes him expendable if he wants to be but a fantastic veteran backup if that’s fine too). With Halak’s resume at the age of 24, he’s also about as safe a bet as you can find (along with Harding) to step into a long term starter’s role such that you can forget about goaltending as an issue for the current cluster of players. These things are never guaranteed but betting on a guy who’s say, 65% likely to make that jump is a whole lot better than the alternatives IMO.

    I think Traktor makes a point regarding Montreal’s wish list but I don’t think it will be severe enough to preclude a deal if Edmonton offered honest-to-goodness NHL players for the guy. This kind of leads me to an opinion of mine that I haven’t seen posted yet – I think ALL of Hemsky, Gagner, Cogliano, and O’Sullivan should remain Oilers for as much of the foreseeable future as possible. It’s about time, optics wise, that the Oilers showed the ability to hold on to their young talent and operate under some sort of long term plan. Unless a trade involving one of these players is a clear win, I think the Oilers should want no part of it.

    I think it was Lowetide not too long ago who asked the question “how is Edmonton going to develop a better reputation in term of player relations?” and then answered it with “one player at a time.” League wide, and to those who don’t intimately follow the Oilers, you have to think Gagner/Cogliano are considered their most important young players. I think it’s vital to the Edmonton Oilers to show an ability to retain these types of players over the long term.

  14. Showerhead says:

    Also, one thing I disagree with is that Montreal needs to rebuild. With Price, Markov/Komisarek, and a host of young skilled forwards, the Canadiens have the basic skeleton of a good team going forward. What Montreal needs is to flesh out that roster with honest NHL talent (Koivu/Kovalev/Tanguay works just fine if they stick around), pay their dues, and stay away from the mafia.

  15. ian says:

    If the Oilers were interested in Halak then the trade bait should be a smaller sized player so that we could replace the player with some size and possibly kill two birds with one stone [that's a strange expression?]
    Would Nilson be a decent offer? I like Cogs and Smid more than what Nilson has to offer plus they are smaller cap hits

  16. bookie says:

    Don’t they love Souray there? He could be part of a trade – not sure what it would take to even it out, but he could be part of it…

  17. Traktor says:

    Re: Optics + one player at a time

    From an interview in yesterday’s Norrbottens-Kuriren:

    - If [the Oilers] really wanted me, they could’ve at least called me. Johan [Harju] got a call from Tampa’s general manager who told him it was a pity that he chose Russia, but that they wanted him to come over for next season.I haven’t spoken to Edmonton personally since I was over there for their camp.

    It’s pretty sad when Brian Lawton is outclassing our organization.

  18. Jfry says:

    moreau for halak?

  19. godot10 says:

    Did Omark’s agents give the Oilers permission to talk to Omark directly? Did Omark inform his agents to tell the Oilers it was okay for the Oilers to contact him directly.

    Once you’ve entered negotiations, it is not really proper for a team to talk to a player, only to his designated agent.

    Technically, since Omark has not signed a contract with the Oilers (and signed elsewhere), it is really up to Omark to inform the Oilers through his agents that it is permissable to talk to him directly.

  20. godot10 says:

    Why would Boston deal Rask? Thomas isn’t a spring chicken? Boston will groom Rask with maybe another year in the AHL, and a year or two as backup to Thomas.

  21. Traktor says:

    “Did Omark’s agents give the Oilers permission to talk to Omark directly?”

    I didn’t think they needed it.

    Obviously cutting out the middle man during negotiations isn’t going to fly but that’s not what I was talking about.

    Wouldn’t it be good business practice to check up with Omark periodically throughout the year? Give him some sort of feedback on how you thought he was progressing? That’s basically the standard for CHL players and I’m not sure why it would be different for a Euro.

    This whole thing reeks of laziness/incompetence.

  22. Jonathan Willis says:

    Traktor: I doubt Montreal deals Halak to an Eastern Conference team. They prefer to send their goaltenders out west, and for good reason.

  23. godot10 says:

    “Did Omark’s agents give the Oilers permission to talk to Omark directly?”

    //I didn’t think they needed it.//

    In the middle of a contract negotiation, ethically, you damn well do.

    Unless Omark’s agents informed the Oilers that they had rejected the Oilers’s offer, and signed elsewhere, it would be improper for the Oilers to talk to Omark directly.

    Since its seems that Omarks’ European agent supposedly never even received the Oilers’ final offer from his North American agents, the Oilers are likely waiting for official correspondence from Omark’s agents before they talk to him.

  24. Mr DeBakey says:

    Where ar all these guys going to end up?:
    Biron, Khabibulin, Roloson, Conklin, Clemmensen, Fernandez, Anderson, Niittymaki, Boucher, Danis, Weekes, Valiquette – All UFA
    Plus, other names
    Lehtonan, Heding, Halak

    There are only a certain number of teams looking for a Keeper
    Don’t get too generous with those prized Oiler assets

  25. oilerdago says:

    Trading Smid for Halak is tough.

    Smid’s value is that right now he’s a 5/6 who may very well be a 4 when it’s all over and he’s on a contract that says “outperform” on a team that does not have many of those right now.

    For those who say there are a lot of d-men in the cupboard for the Oilers, that may be but how many are ready to step up and play? Peckham, yes as a 6/7. Petry – no, Chorney – we saw is not close, Hrabel? Wild? None of them can.

    Also Staios is getting long in the tooth to have to keep playing the kind of minutes he does.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Mr DeBakey: I’d rather spend an asset on a well price goaltender than millions on a UFA. If the Oilers can choose the correct UFA and get him at a value price then it’s all good, but that hasn’t been the strength of the Oilers over the years.

  27. Gerta Rauss says:

    Long time lurker,first time poster…

    I thought I read that Montreal really wanted Riley Nash at the draft a couple years ago…

    Halak for Nash +…?…Nilsson..?

    Nash + Moreau/Staios would just be a wet dream…

    great blog btw-I think I’m drawn to it because like many around here,baseball died in 1994…

  28. HBomb says:

    Two thoughts after reading this:

    1) Vokoun: the Panthers are losing Bouwmeester and will need a d-man. Visnovsky OR Souray (I’d prefer sending away the latter) for Vokoun is basically a wash salary-wise.

    2) Halak: good idea from an Oiler perspective, but they won’t be the only ones interested. Traktor suggests Philly, which to me makes a ton of sense. Montreal wants a Francophone star, will have the cap space, AND tried for the guy two years ago. Briere for Halak, anyone?

  29. Sean says:

    HBomb: Better trade for Vokoun before we sign JBo ;)

  30. Jon says:

    I agree with Mr. Debakey, Goaltenders value is very low and names like Smid and Cogs should not even come into the equation. I’m thinking names like:

    Nillson
    Poo (sorry LT)
    JDD
    Brodziak
    Chorney
    Brule

    One or a combo of players with mid range draft picks (2nd or third) should get a deal done.

    What goalies were traded this year?
    Garon: 4th , Sabourin, Stone
    Labarbera: a seventh
    Gerber: Waivers

    Last year?
    Aubin : a seventh
    Huet: a second
    Auld: 5th, Dicasmiro
    Bacashiuia: seventh
    Bryzgalov: Waivers

    I would say that Auld is the closest in Value as far as a young goalie who is on a cheap contract and not a ufa

    a 2nd or third and Nillson and/or Poo should get the deal done.

    I am all for Halak coming here but not at the expense of Smid or Cogs

  31. Lowetide says:

    If the Oilers can get Halak for Pouliot they better do it yesterday.

  32. Gerta Rauss says:

    However this drama plays out this summer with regard to our defense,in all scenarios we’re going to need 5/6 D that play physical and are value contracts(under $2m cap)

    Smid has to stay.

  33. Jon says:

    I agree LT that it seems low but I just don’t see any precedent to give up anything of “real” value.

    Also, I didn’t say it would just be poo I said it would be a combination players and picks

  34. Jon says:

    Found a few more:

    Vokoun went for a first, 2nd, third

    Chris Mason: Went for a fourth

    However, Vokoun was an established starter and even though I think Halak will be good, he still has alot to prove.

  35. godot10 says:

    Say no to Vokoun.

    Although with his contract, he could be obtained for next to nothing.

    1) He didn’t get Florida into the playoffs.
    2) He never got Nashville out of the first round.
    3) It would make much more sense to go after Anderson, than to take Vokoun’s contract.

    Halak makes much more sense. Offer Staios, Pouliot**, and a draft pick for him. **Or Nilsson, or Brodziak.

  36. Coach pb9617 says:

    D’Agostini and Halak for Cogliano.

  37. godot10 says:

    Of course, if Florida would take Staios and Moreau for Vokoun, different story. Then Vokoun’s salary wouldn’t hurt so much.

  38. Easilee says:

    Boston will have an 8.2 million cap hit in net if they choose to bring up Rask to back up Thomas. I agree that it not likely that he is moved, but not completly out of the question.

  39. gogliano says:

    What about something simple?

    1st round pick for Halak.

  40. Gerta Rauss says:

    @ Coach

    I don’t mind the idea of trading Cogliano for a goalie…deep down I think this is what it is going to take anyway…
    I’d prefer Cogliano for Halak and the right(s) to Komisarek myself-if we can get Komi signed before July 1 it gives us more flexibility to move another D (Souray?Gilbert?)for the upgrades at forward this team desperately needs.

  41. Gerta Rauss says:

    @ gogliano

    personally i think the 10th pick this year is an overpayment for Halak, but I like this line of thinking

    a swap of 1st round picks perhaps?

    i believe Montreal is slated to pick 18th..

    Halak + Mtl 1st for Edm 1st..?..is that enough..?

  42. knighttown says:

    It’s pretty sad when Brian Lawton is outclassing our organization..

    Ah Trak, that’s a real shame. Looking at it corporately, this just looks like bad HR. The powers that be sit in their ivory tower until its time to sign a contract, throw out an offer and walk away if its not signed. Alternatively, you could be in contact all year, creating some warm and fuzzies and then all of a sudden, there is some loyalty there. It seems to me the Oilers recruitment and retention skills are below average based on the amount of UFA interest and the dearth of hometown discounts.

    Without sorting the rumours from fact, Omark expresses interest in playing in either North American league, the Oilers hardly spoke to Omark all year, watched him dominate the SEL, made a low to average offer which was inferior to the KHL offer, lose the bidding war and then never bother following up again.

    God they make me mad.

  43. gogliano says:

    I agree it is an overpayment, particularly given past payment on goalies, but I suppose I can put it another way: what are the chances a 10th round pick is as good as Halak? If Dubnyk is Halak aren’t we saying Dubnyk is covering the bet?

    Factor in the contract and the age (perfect for our cluster), it doesn’t seem to me to be the worst way to burn your 10th pick overall.

  44. blackadder says:

    I’d like to see the Oilers target either Harding or Halak, with the latter more likely because I can’t see Minnesota wanting to trade Harding to a division rival. Giving up a top ten draft pick in a deep draft year would be an overpay, in my opinion. Halak has potential but he’s yet to prove anything – Andrew Raycroft had potential once too – so beyond a package of draft picks (2nd or 3rd) and prospects (not Nash or Eberle) I wouldn’t want to give up too much. Unless, of course, they decide they’d like Nilsson.

  45. Garnet says:

    Ah, ESPN Classics is airing Game 7 of Oilers-Stars from 1997. Grant Ledyard has just taken a bad penalty in the the second period, and goes to the box with a haunted look on his face. He doesn’t know it’s going to get a lot worse for him.

  46. PDO says:

    Trading most of the assets mentioned here for Halak are utterly insane.

    Goalies are dirt cheap. There’s a million of them right around the same level (read: the level right below Luongo, Lundqvist, etc.).

    Anything past Robert Nilsson is poor asset management.

  47. Master Lok says:

    I agree with PDO. Goalies are cheap. I’d trade Staios or Nilsson. Nothing more. Certainly not Cogliano.

    If they don’t like it, maybe throw in a prospect (Schremp) or late round draft pick.

    If they still don’t like it, take a look at other options, including UFA.

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