Has Cristobal Huet played his last game as a Hawk?
According to both Tim Samson of the Chicago Daily Herald, as well as Hendricks Hockey, last night could have very well been Cristobal Huet's final game as a Chicago Blackhawks.
Allowing a whopping 7 goals on 27 shots, Huet was the main catalyst behind the drubbing of the Hawks by a team that's already been eliminated from playoff contention, the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Hawks lost the game by a final score of 8-3, but oddly enough, still managed to clinch a playoff berth thanks to the 99 points they've already accumulated as well as the results from around the conference last night.
There have been rumors that Hawks GM Stan Bowman would ship Huet and his monstrous contract off to the Hawks farm team in Rockford for nearly the entire season, and it finally looks as if the rumors will come to fruition. It's clear as day that the Hawks will not win the Stanley Cup if Huet is backstopping the team between the pipes, and something needs to be done about it before the playoffs begin.
The Hawks, who failed to pull a trigger on a deadline deal move that would have improved their goaltending, would go with the tandem of Antti Niemi and Corey Crawford going into the playoffs. Crawford, 6'2'', 182lbs from Montreal Quebec, is 25 with a total of 8 games experience on the National Hockey League for the Hawks. He has only won one of them. Niemi, on the other hand, is 26, and has been red hot for the Hawks this season. But Hawks fans should be weary of his lack of experience, as he has shown signs of weakness this season despite good statistics.
As for Huet, the 34 year old former LA King, Montreal Canadien and Washington Capital has always had a shaky career. But a good year in Montreal landed him a hefty contract in the Summer of 2008, and the Hawks have both literally and figuratively payed the price for the signing.
Could this be the end of Cristobal Huet's career as an NHL goaltender, or will the Hawks find a way to ship him out of town?