Avs address T.J. pipeline glut and Habs gamble terrifyingly
Probably my favorite meme of the Olympics was summed up by Canadian genius Down Goes Brown as "It's official. Canadian hockey simply isn't developing enough Ryans." (Forgive me if that's a misquote: it's from memory.)
Similarly, the Avalanche have been heavy with T.J.s, frankly laden with them. At long, long last Greg Sherman has addressed this savage and unsustainable state of affairs with the kind of big-ticket move that completely gives the boot to the asinine claim that the Avs are going to sit out this season's seriously amazing crop of free agents. Yes, the Avs have added Julian Talbot, who apparently isn't a Bond villain, an antiques dealer specializing in pre-Raphaelite tapestries, or a bad scientist in a straight-to-SciFi movie whose name is just tough enough that you know he'll die heroically, buying some time for the main characters.
Apparently he's a forward who in addition to playing in Peoria for the last three years solid last year scored more than a third what T.J. Hensick did. In 18 more games.
Also he's a year older than Hensick. But hey, at 5-11, 181, at least he's got the size you want in a center! And he absolutely crushes Hensick in the all-important not-having-major-hairlines-issues department.
In news people actually care about, the Halak move kinda baffles me. Trading for an RFA is a terrifying prospect: any team that wants to handcuff the Blues can now make the guy a ridiculous offer and force the Blues to overpay the guy. All that said, I think he's a fabulous goalie, capable of handling a lot of shots, whether behind a ridiculously committed shot-blocking defense like Montreal's or behind a somewhat overmatched defense like Slovakia's this past Olympics. (This is my number-one desired trait in a goalie, and why I ride and die with Brodeur is a Fraud.) So IF they're sure they can sign him quickly and conveniently, I like adding a reasonably proven number-one goalie without giving up current contributors.
Plus, as the Blues note, if there's anything this year's free agents are good for, it's finding a
washed-up veteran netminder to hold the clipboard wear your team's cap soak up losses in back-to-back games mentor a young-un' facing his first full season as the number-one starter.
Which I guess is what the Habs are thinking. Price is a little younger, has a little more NHL experience...I'm floundering here. He's definitely more Canadian. He's bigger, which some people are obsessed with. I dunno: I think Price won't ever be great in Montreal--I think he's tailor-made for a change of scenery--but I guess we'll see. But just as Halak's an RFA, Price is, which is why it's so odd that the suddenly penny-wise Habs are handing him the reins before getting him inked. Biggest take-home might be not to go into an offseason with two RFA goalies who both want to be the number-one. Which boils down to: go into the offseason not unlucky.