The Montreal goaltending question has been answered. The St. Louis Blues have acquired Jaroslav Halak from Montreal in exchange for prospects Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. Halak was Montreal’s savior this postseason, and carried les Habitants past the top seeded Washington Capitals and fourth seeded Pittsburgh Penguins. With two young goalies headed to restricted free agency, the Habs needed to trade one, as they could not afford both.
Eller, a center, played for the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL last season, putting together a line of 18-39-57 with 84 PIMs in 70 games. The Danish prospect is considered to be a highly touted scoring prospect, and was the #2 prospect in the Blues system. Schultz, a RW, played for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL last season, putting together a line of 8-7-15 with 26 PIMs in 23 games. Schultz is the #17 prospect in the Blues system.
The Habs fell victim to the depth of goaltending currently available on the market. There are many veteran goalies that will become available on July 1, so many, in fact, that some will wind up without homes come October. When the market is that flooded with goalies, the return on a trade is going to be minimal. Still, Eller is a solid return for Montreal, and could wind up replacing Plekanec.
Contract talks between St. Louis and Halak have not begun.