As noted by Kevin Woodley of In Goal Magazine, former Chicago netminder Cristobal Huet told French news outlet L’Equipe he’s been in contact with Vancouver and Los Angeles about a return to the NHL.
“Huet tells L’Equipe [he] talked with Kings and Canucks,” Woodley tweeted. “No surprise on latter if/when trade Luongo [occurs].”
Woodley also notes Huet has a good relationship with Vancouver goalie coach Rollie Melanson.
Huet hasn’t played in the NHL since serving as Antti Niemi’s backup during Chicago’s Stanley Cup victory in 2010. That was 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 albatrossian four-year, $22.5 million deal expired.
In early July, Huet told In Goal he wanted back in North America.
“I still belong, I’m better than some other guys, and I’d like another shot,” Huet said. “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.”
Now 36, Huet would be a solid veteran presence in a backup role. That’s key, because both rumored suitors — Vancouver and L.A. — are both rumored to be shopping one of their goalies (Jonathan Bernier, Luongo.)
Both teams could be interested a cheap, veteran presence behind Cory Schneider (26 years old) and Jonathan Quick (also 26).