Habs trade goaltender Huet to Capitals Staff

2/26/2008 2:52:18 PM

The Montreal Canadiens have traded goaltender Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals for a 2009 second-round draft pick.

Huet, 32, has a 21-12-6 record and 2.56 goals-against average this season with a .916 save percentage.

Huet was disappointed by the deal but understood the move.

"I would have loved to have finished the job here [Montreal] but it was difficult for me, I didn't play well the last few weeks, I didn't help my cause" explained Huet.

He put on a braver face when speaking later in the day.

"They said they are excited to have me, and they hope I can help them make a push for the playoffs," explained Huet in a conference call later on Tuesday.

The deal reunites Huet and former minor coach Bruce Boudreau. 

"From what I've seen this year, he's done a great job with the Capitals," said Huet of Boudreau.

With Huet dealt, the Canadiens have turned to 20-year-old Carey Price as their third starting goaltender in as many seasons. Ironically, Huet became the team's new starter in 2006, when general manager Bob Gainey dealt former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner Jose Theodore to Colorado on the eve of the trading deadline.

Huet is in the final year of a two-year contract and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Huet has played 170 career games in the NHL. He posted a 72-59-11-13 record, a 2.49 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. He posted a 58-39-13 record in 117 career games with the Canadiens, with a 2.53 goals against average and a .918 save percentage.

To accomodate the move, the Canadiens have called up goaltender Jaroslav Halak from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League.

NHL on TSN Analysis

Pierre McGuire: "I'm not surprised at all. This is Carey Price's team going forward. Internally (the Habs) knew they were not going to win with Cristobal Huet."

Keith Jones on Huet: "I'm shocked.  I don't think they got enough for Huet. The Montreal Canadiens have had succeess going with rookie goaltender in the past. But I'm surprised the market was so small for Huet."

Steve Simmons: "If they go in to the playoffs with Price and Halak, I'd be shocked by that.Boy, are they putting a lot on Carey Price right now. What happens now if Price goes into the playoffs and pulls a Gerber?"