Pierre Gauthier has made his first big move as Canadiens GM by trading Jarsolav Halak to the St Louis Blues for prospects Lars Eller and Ian Schultz.
Eller played seven games in the NHL last year, Schultz played the whole season in junior with the WHL's Calgary Hitmen even though he's 20 years old.
This could very well be a PR disaster for the Canadiens because they are not getting an established NHL player in return. But in pure hockey terms, Gauthier must have really believed in Eller's potential. And that had better be some potential that is about to be realized, like in the first two weeks of the season, because the pressure on Eller to perform will be monstrous.
But one thing that can't be ignored is that Halak is a free agent, a restricted one, but a free agent nonetheless. It's not that easy to trade an unsigned goalie that is looking at getting a pretty monstrous raise this season. You need a team with cap space and a team with a deep stable of prospects.
So now the Carey Price era will begin in earnest. I have always been for this move, I just thought Halak would fetch more than this on the trade market. Gauthier is on a conference call at 4:15, will check back here after that.