Jaroslav Halák

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Jaroslav Halák
Jaroslav Halak.jpg
Halak with the Islanders in October 2014
Born (1985-05-13) May 13, 1985 (age 29)
Bratislava, Czechoslovakia
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 183 lb (83 kg; 13 st 1 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
NHL team
Former teams
New York Islanders
Montreal Canadiens
St. Louis Blues
Washington Capitals
National team  Slovakia
NHL Draft 271st overall, 2003
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 2005–present

Jaroslav Halák (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈjaroslav ˈɦalaːk]; born May 13, 1985) is a Slovak professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). Halák was the 271st overall pick by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Playing career[edit]

Montreal Canadiens[edit]

In the midst of a stellar season with the Montreal Canadiens' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, Halák was called up to the Canadiens on February 15, 2007, after an injury to Montreal's starting goaltender, Cristobal Huet. At the time of his call-up, Halák had a 2.00 goals against average (GAA) with the Bulldogs, the lowest in the AHL. He played his first NHL game on February 18, 2007, stopping 31 shots in a 3–2 road win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Halák earned his first career NHL shutout on March 20, 2007, making thirty saves to keep the rival Boston Bruins off the board with a 1–0 victory. Halák's great play towards the end of the 2006–07 season helped keep Montreal in a fight for a playoff spot despite the injury to Huet.

Halák was assigned to the Bulldogs for the majority of the 2007–08 season. However, after the Canadiens traded Huet on February 26, 2008, Halák took over full-time as the Canadiens back-up goaltender. He started his first playoff game on April 30, 2008 against the Philadelphia Flyers (a 4–2 loss) after sub-par performances from newly appointed starter Carey Price, who once again took over in the following game.

Halák fulfilled back-up duties for the Canadiens into the 2009–10 season. However, Halák's strong play coupled with inconsistent performances from Price led to an opportunity for Halák to step into a larger role. Ultimately, based on his strong play for the Habs and for Slovakia at the Vancouver Olympics, there was a strong internal push to designate Halák the starting goaltender for the Habs.

Halák went on to be named the Montreal Canadiens' Molson Cup Player of the Year for the 2009–10 season and was designated the starter heading into their first-round playoff match-up against the President's Trophy-winning Washington Capitals. In the sixth game of the series, Halák stopped 53 shots to set a club record for a playoff game (in regulation-time),[1] leading the Canadiens to a 4–1 victory. Ultimately, the Canadiens overcame a 3–1 series deficit to win the series in seven games, marking one of the biggest upsets in NHL history.[2] The win was attributed largely to Halák's play as he turned aside 131 of Washington's 134 shots in games 5 through 7, frustrating the league's top scoring team from the regular season.[3] The Canadiens moved on to face the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round, and defeated them in seven games as well, marking a second consecutive major upset.[4] Montreal won the decisive game 5–2, and Halák was named the first star.[5] The Canadiens faced the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Final, and their surprising playoff-run came to an end with a 4–1 series loss.[6]

St. Louis Blues[edit]

At the conclusion of the 2009–10 season, both Halák and Carey Price became restricted free agents and a great goaltending debate emerged in Montreal over who would remain with the team, playoff-hero Halák, or the younger Price. After weeks of media speculation the Canadiens chose Price and on June 17 controversially traded Halák to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for two prospects, center Lars Eller and right-winger Ian Schultz (brother of Jeff Schultz).[7] On July 6, 2010, Halák signed a four year $15 million contract with the Blues.[8] Prior to the 2010–11 season, Halák held an autograph-signing in Montreal as a farewell and goodwill gesture, to thank fans for their support as well as to raise funds for the Montreal Ste-Justine Children's Hospital. Though 500 fans were expected, more than 5000 fans attended the event held at the Fairview Pointe-Claire mall, testifying to his popularity with Canadiens fans.[9]

Halák played his first game as a Blue on October 9, 2010, earning a 2–1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in St. Louis. Halák would collect his first shutout with the Blues on October 23, 2010 at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins, stopping 31 shots in a 1–0 overtime victory. Halák would go on to be named one of the NHL's Stars of the Week.[10] Halak had a quick start in St. Louis going 8–1–1 and would share the number 1 role in St. Louis with Brian Elliott for the remainder of the season. In the 2011–2012 NHL season, Halak, along with Brian Elliott, was awarded the William M. Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest amount of goals (165 collectively) in the regular season.

Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals[edit]

Prior to the 2013–14 trade deadline, the Blues traded Halák along with Chris Stewart, William Carrier and first-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2014 to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Ryan Miller and Steve Ott on February 28, 2014. If Ryan Miller signs a contract with the Blues, Buffalo will receive a first-round pick in 2016 instead of the third-round pick.[11]

Halák did not appear in a game for the Sabres and was ultimately dealt along with a third round draft pick to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Michal Neuvirth and Rostislav Klesla at the trade deadline.[12] Halák did dress for the Sabres as the backup goaltender in one game, making him the 10th player in Sabres history to dress for the team in a regular-season game but not play.[13]

New York Islanders[edit]

As pending unrestricted free agent, Halák's rights were traded by Washington to the New York Islanders on May 1, 2014 for a 4th round pick in the 2014 entry draft.[14] On May 22, 2014, the Islanders signed him to a four-year contract worth $18 million.[15] [16] On December 4, 2014, the Islanders defeated the Ottawa Senators, with Halák earning his 11th consecutive win. This set a franchise record previously held by Billy Smith, who won 10 consecutive games. [17]

International play[edit]

Halak in 2010

Halák has represented Slovakia internationally on numerous occasions. He first played for his country at the IIHF World U20 Championship, starting every game for the team in both the 2004 and 2005 tournaments, where the team finished 6th and 7th, respectively. Halák's first senior international experience came in 2007 as he played in the 2007 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships, starting 2 games and earning a 1–1 record. The Slovaks finished in 6th place.[18] Halák again represented Slovakia at the 2009 tournament, where the team finished a disappointing 10th overall.[19]

In February 2010, Halák was named the starting goaltender for the Slovak national team in the 2010 Winter Olympics. He stopped 36 of 37 shots in a preliminary round victory against a strong Russian team, and went on to start every game for the Slovaks. Halák and his teammates finished a surprising 4th overall in the tournament after losing against Finland in the bronze medal match.[20] This was the best finish ever for Slovakia at the Olympics, one spot better than their 5th place finish at the 2006 Olympics.

Halák played in two of Slovakia's four games at the 2014 Olympics, losing both games.[21] Slovakia finished 11th.

Awards and achievements[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

   
Season Team League GP W L T/OT MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2002–03 Bratislava Svk Jr. 9 477 18 2.26
2003–04 HC Slovan Bratislava SVK 12 651 18 0 1.66 .942
2004–05 Lewiston Maineiacs QMJHL 47 24 17 4 2697 125 4 2.78 .913
2005–06 Long Beach Ice Dogs ECHL 20 11 4 2 1026 35 2 2.05 .932
2005–06 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 13 7 6 0 786 30 3 2.29 .927
2006–07 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 28 16 11 0 1618 54 6 2.00 .932
2006–07 Montreal Canadiens NHL 16 10 6 0 912 44 2 2.89 .906
2007–08 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 8 3 2 2 454 22 0 2.91 .901
2007–08 Montreal Canadiens NHL 6 2 1 1 284 10 1 2.11 .934
2008–09 Montreal Canadiens NHL 34 18 14 1 1931 92 1 2.86 .915
2009–10 Montreal Canadiens NHL 45 26 13 5 2630 105 5 2.40 .924
2010–11 St. Louis Blues NHL 57 27 21 7 3294 136 7 2.48 .910
2011–12 St. Louis Blues NHL 46 26 12 7 2747 90 6 1.97 .926
2012–13 St. Louis Blues NHL 16 6 5 1 813 29 3 2.14 .899
2013–14 St. Louis Blues NHL 40 24 9 4 2238 83 4 2.23 .917
2013–14 Washington Capitals NHL 12 5 4 3 701 27 1 2.31 .930
NHL totals 272 144 85 29 15,551 616 30 2.38 .918
AHL totals 69 38 27 2 4034 141 11 2.10 .930


Playoffs[edit]

   
Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SA SO GAA SV%
2003–04 HC Slovan Bratislava SVK 1 45 6 62 0 8.00 .903
2004–05 Lewiston Maineiacs QMJHL 8 4 4 460 27 292 0 3.52 .908
2005–06 Long Beach Ice Dogs ECHL 4 2 2 252 13 144 0 3.09 .910
2007–08 Montreal Canadiens NHL 2 0 1 77 3 27 0 2.34 .889
2008–09 Montreal Canadiens NHL 1 0 0 20 0 5 0 0.00 1.000
2009–10 Montreal Canadiens NHL 18 9 9 1013 43 562 0 2.55 .923
2011–12 St. Louis Blues NHL 2 1 1 104 3 46 0 1.73 .935
NHL totals 23 10 11 1215 49 640 0 2.42 .923

International[edit]

   
Year Team Event GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2004 Slovakia WJC 6 2 3 1 360 14 2 2.33
2005 Slovakia WJC 6 4 2 0 360 13 2 2.17
2007 Slovakia WC 2 1 1 0 119 5 1 2.52 .904
2009 Slovakia WC 4 1 2 0 189 10 0 3.17 .872
2010 Slovakia Oly 7 3 3 0 423 17 1 2.41 .911
2011 Slovakia WC 6 2 4 0 354 15 0 2.54 .909
2014 Slovakia Oly 2 0 2 0 93:30 8 0 5.13 .857
Senior totals 21 7 12 0 1178 55 2 2.80 .898

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Halak comes up huge as Canadiens force game 7". TSN. 2010-04-27. 
  2. ^ "Montreal Canadiens eliminate Washington Capitals". The Oakland Press. 2010-04-29. 
  3. ^ "Halak, Canadiens knock Ovechkin, top-seeded Capitals out of postseason". ESPN. 2010-04-28. 
  4. ^ "Canadiens continue their role as giant-killer". NY Times. 2010-05-12. 
  5. ^ "Canadiens stun Penguins 5–2 in game 7". NHL. 2010-05-13. 
  6. ^ "Philadelphia Flyers defeat Montreal Canadiens to advance to Stanley Cup finals". Washington Post. 2010-05-25. 
  7. ^ "Canadiens deal goaltender Halak to Blues". TSN. 2010-06-17. 
  8. ^ "Halak signs 4-year, $15 million contract with Blues". TSN. 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  9. ^ "Ex Habs goalie Halak draws big crowd for farewell autographs". TSN. 2010-09-04. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  10. ^ "Bourque, Halak and Stamkos named 'Three Stars'". NHL. 2010-10-25. 
  11. ^ "Sabres deal Miller, Ott to Blues for Halak, Stewart, Picks". The Sports Network. 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  12. ^ "Sabres trade Halak to Capitals". TSN.ca. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  13. ^ Buffalo Sabres public relations department on Twitter
  14. ^ Brehm, Mike (2014-05-01). "Capitals trade Jaroslav Halak's rights to Islanders". USA Today. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  15. ^ http://islanders.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=720313
  16. ^ http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/05/22/islanders-sign-goalie-halak-to-4-year-18-million-deal/
  17. ^ http://nypost.com/2014/12/04/halak-wins-franchise-record-11th-straight-game-as-isles-win-again
  18. ^ "2007 IIHF World Championship". IIHF. 
  19. ^ "2009 IIHF World Championship". IIHF. 
  20. ^ "Finland defeats Slovakia to capture hockey bronze". TSN. 2010-02-28. 
  21. ^ http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/388/IHM400000_83_44_0_SVK.pdf

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Roberto Luongo
Cory Schneider
Winner of the William M. Jennings Trophy with Brian Elliott
2011–12
Succeeded by
Corey Crawford
Ray Emery