Hey Mike! To Huet, or not to Huet? That is the question

Offseason Questions

Little bit of Canucks related news to pass your way today.

Kevin Woodley (@KevinisInGoal) of In Goal Magazine tweeted this week that former Chicago goalie Cristobal Huet told French news outlet L’Equipe he’s been in contact with Vancouver and Los Angeles about a return to the NHL.

It’s not much of a surprise that Vancouver was mentioned. They have a goalie they’re looking to move, and with the lack of depth or NHL caliber goalies, Huet is a player that could be serviceable while Cory Schneider is handed the reigns as Vancouver’s starter.

Huet, who hasn’t played an NHL game since Chicago’s Stanley Cup victory in 2010, was on loan to Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss League. A move that freed Chicago of Huet’s massive $5.625 million dollar cap hit in a season where the Blackhawks would unload a lot of their Stanley Cup winning team due to cap issues.

To Huet?

Is Cristobal Huet a viable option for the Vancouver Canucks?

Good question. Prior to leaving for Fribourg-Gotteron, Huet had only played one game in the ‘Hawks 2010 cup run. He played 48 games that regular season, totaling a 26-14-4 record, with a 2.50 GAA and a .895 SV%.

During his last season overseas, Huet posted a .932 SV% and a 1.99 GAA.

He turns 37 in September, but a veteran presence to take some of the load off of Schneider’s shoulders could help Vancouver if Eddie Lack isn’t ready to make the jump from the AHL to the NHL.

But what does Huet cost for one season? Of course, that’s assuming that’s all Vancouver is willing to give a 37 year old. He won’t get anything near his $5.625 million he was “earning” in Chicago. If I had to guess, I would say one-year for Huet at around $2 – $2.75 for the season.

Even then, that number may be a little high.

At a reasonable price, I would welcome in Huet, the free agent goalie market isn’t exactly overflowing with talent. Especially when goalies are emailing local reporters to sell themselves to the team. Not pointing fingers, so for the sake of leaving this goalie anonymous we’ll call him Dan E. No wait, that’s too obvious. I’ll call him D. Ellis.

Cristobal Huet

Memo to Huet. Playing in Europe is a different game than the one in North America

Not Huet?

While Huet’s numbers haven’t been bad while overseas, it’s a different game than the one in North America. Even Huet acknowledges that. While he may put a different spin on it, one may wonder how his success in Switzerland translates to the NHL level.

Besides, it’s not like Huet was a terrible goalie in the NHL, just an average one while earning a ridiculous amount of money.

Huet maintains a career SV% of .913 and a GAA of 2.46.

There are a few reasons though why I wouldn’t want to sign Huet to a one-year deal:

The Canucks could bring a goalie back in a trade for Roberto Luongo, if and when that happens.

Eddie Lack is ready for the NHL. I think this is the least likely, simply because the Canucks have reached out to Huet.

If there’s a bidding war between Vancouver and another team who could be trading away a goalie in the near future.

Namely the LA Kings, who Huet himself has said reached out to him at some point this off-season.

So there you have it. To Huet, or not Huet?

That is the question.

If the price is right, Vancouver doesn’t acquire another back in a trade for Luongo, Lack isn’t ready and there is not a bidding war for his services, I say why not?

Might be better than Dan E…sorry, D. Ellis.


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About Mitch Dyck

Mitch lives in Port Coquitlam and though it sounds pretty awful, it's not nearly as bad as you think. He's been a Canucks fan since he can remember. Likes hockey, beer, swearing and aspires to teach children the violin once he's able to play one himself. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Mitch today!
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