As soon as teams are eliminated after a deep playoff run, there are
two questions that are asked of players the next day.
kind are the reflections on the series loss, the season past and
rumination on what went wrong.
The next are saved for the pending
free agents. Hey, the season has only been over for a day, but what are
your plans moving forward?
Jaroslav Halak, the hero for the
Canadiens along the road of an improbable playoff run, will be a
restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 1st. While the
Canadiens had previously turned via free agency to Carey Price, I’m
guessing that the team would rather have Halak for the long term. He’s
not thinking about any of that just yet:
“Right now, don’t think about it,” Halak said Tuesday when asked what
his priorities are when it comes to his contract status. “This is not
going to happen today or tomorrow, it’s going to happen over the summer.
“It’s a good question, but right now I just want to go on vacation and
put aside hockey and not think about it.”
There’s always the fear that a player that gets so hot in the
playoffs ends up being just a one-time shot in the pan, someone who
cashes in on a great postseason and never lives up to high expectations.
For Halak though, he’s a goaltender who was in high demand for the most
of the season, with the Canadiens reluctant to part ways with him via
trade unless a king’s ransom was paid.
Halak has the tools and the ability to a long-term, solid goaltender
for the Canadiens and he’s already become something of a cult figure in
I’m guessing the contract issues will work themselves out just fine.