Tag: Cristobal Huet

Cristobal Huet

Cristobal Huet stays in Europe, signs four-year deal with Swiss club

The NHL won’t have Cristobal Huet to kick around anytime soon.

After rumors he was in talks with the Canucks and Kings, Matias Strozyk reports Huet has signed a four-year deal with Lausanne of the Swiss league. The team’s website confirms the signing (link in French) with the nearly 37 year-old former Blackhawks Stanley Cup winner.

Huet had said he was hoping to land an NHL deal believing he belonged in the league and he was better than some guys, but with the threat of a lockout and presumably good, secure money being thrown his way – Switzerland it is.

Huet’s contract with the Chicago Blackhawks expired this summer but he hadn’t played in the NHL since the end of the 2010 season. Unless he pulls some wacky Dominik Hasek-like stuff, we won’t likely be seeing him on North American ice again.

Ex-‘Hawks goalie Huet wants back in the NHL: “I still belong, I’m better than some other guys”

Cristobal Huet 2

Thought he hasn’t appeared in an NHL contest since May 2010, Cristobal Huet thinks he should be back in the league.

“I still belong, I’m better than some other guys, and I’d like another shot,” Huet told InGoal Magazine. “I’d love to come back, but I know once you are out of the league a little bit guys tend to forget about you and that’s the nature of the beast.

“But I still think I have something to show in the NHL, and to prove I still belong there. For me it would be a great second chance to come back and play in the best league.”

Huet famously (or, infamously) signed a four-year, $22.5 million deal with Chicago back in 2008. It was an eye-popping decision given:

— Chicago already had Nikolai Khabibulin (and was paying him $6.75 million per season.)

— Huet was 32 at the time and had never played more than 52 games in a season.

— Huet was traded by the playoff-bound Canadiens at the deadline to Washington, where he posted a 2.92 GAA and .909 save percentage in an opening-round playoff loss to Philly.

Huet’s time in Chicago was marked by spotty play and an inability to wrestle the starting gig away from Khabibulin and, later, Antti Niemi.

The Windy City stint ended with a Stanley Cup victory in 2010 (during which Huet backed up Niemi)…followed by a “loan” to Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss League, a clever way for the ‘Hawks to make his massive cap hit disappear.

Funny thing happened in Switzerland, though — Huet found his game. He posted a .932 save percentage and 1.99 GAA last season and, coincidentally, his aforementioned four-year deal expired.

With the UFA goalie market thinned out and teams still scrambling for backups (it’s down to the likes of Dan Ellis and Alex Ault), Huet figures now is his chance to get back into the NHL, noting his agent has talked to “a few” teams.

“I know my role would be this way now that I am out of the league,” he said. “So for me it would be an opportunity to compete, but at same time help a guy, be a good guy in the room and try to be the best I can when I play.”

Team USA rolls over France at Worlds, Canada awaits tomorrow

Kyle Okposo, Cristobal Huet

Give it up to the United States for making sure to take care of business right off the bat. Opening up the World Championships against France could’ve been a time to struggle to find team chemistry. Instead it turned into a 7-2 victory to kick off the tournament the right way.

Kyle Okposo netted two goals while Max Pacioretty had a goal and two assists and Paul Stastny had three assists to lead the way. Jimmy Howard stopped 21 shots to keep the French at bay. Former Blackhawks and Capitals goalie Cristobal Huet stopped 28 in the loss.

The game didn’t start out quite the way the United States was hoping as France jumped out to a 1-0 lead 12 minutes into the first period. Okposo would make sure France didn’t go into the intermission with a lead scoring his first goal. The opening 20 minutes proved to be the wake-up call Team USA needed as they scored three goals in the second and third to roll on past the French.

Up next for the Americans: Canada tomorrow (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). Canada slipped past Slovakia 3-2 in their opening game of the tournament. Expect Team USA to have to deal with Cam Ward in goal while Ryan Getzlaf, Jamie Benn, Jordan Eberle highlight the wide array of talent the Canadians brought this year.

Just remember, the key in the preliminary round is to finish in the top four of the group. Knocking off Canada would go a long way to helping the cause and open the door to finishing first in the group.