Cristobal Huet

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Cristobal Huet
Huetblackhawks09.jpg
Huet with the Blackhawks in 2009
Born (1975-09-03) September 3, 1975 (age 42)
Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches nut
NL team
Former teams
Lausanne HC
Los Angeles Kings
Montreal Canadiens
Washington Capitals
Chicago Blackhawks
HC Lugano
HC Fribourg-Gottéron
National team  France
NHL Draft 214th overall, 2001
Los Angeles Kings
Playing career 1994–present

Cristobal S. Huet (French pronunciation: ​[kʁistɔbal ɥɛ]; born September 3, 1975) is a French-born Swiss professional ice hockey goaltender who is currently playing for Lausanne HC of the National League (NL). He previously played for HC Lugano and HC Fribourg-Gottéron and within the Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, and Washington Capitals organizations in the National Hockey League (NHL). He is the first French netminder and second French-trained player overall (after Philippe Bozon) to play in the NHL. Huet won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2009–10 NHL season, and became the first Frenchman to win the Stanley Cup as a player.

Playing career[edit]

HC Lugano[edit]

Huet played for HC Lugano from the 1998-99 season to 2001-02. His career took a significant turn in these years. He won the National League A Championship in his first year, and reached the European Hockey League final four the next year.

Cristobal Huet with the French national team in 2008

Los Angeles Kings[edit]

Huet was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings as their seventh-round pick, 214th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Kings in the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 seasons. He was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in a three-team deal that sent Mathieu Garon to Los Angeles and Radek Bonk from Ottawa to Montreal. During the 2004-05 lockout Huet played for the Mannheim Eagles in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. He led the team to the finals, where the Eagles lost in three straight games to Eisbären Berlin.

Montreal Canadiens[edit]

During the 2005–06 season, Huet eventually won the starting job in goal for the Canadiens at the expense of José Théodore, who was subsequently traded to Colorado in exchange for goaltender David Aebischer. He also won the Molson Cup in February 2006. He won the Best Defensive Player award from the NHL during the first week of March, ousting goaltenders such as the Ottawa Senators' Ray Emery and the New Jersey Devils' Martin Brodeur, with a 3–0–0 record and a 1.67 GAA. For the second time of the year, he was named NHL Best Defensive Player on April 3 with a 3–0–0 record, a 0.65 GAA and 0.979 SV%, ousting goaltenders Martin Brodeur, Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and Detroit's Manny Legace.

On April 23, in his first NHL playoff start, Huet starred in a 6–1 win against the 2nd seeded and eventual Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes. Huet stopped 42 of 43 shots in the contest to put the Canadiens up 1–0 in the seven game series. Two days later, Huet recorded his first overtime playoff win, when the Canadiens beat the Hurricanes 6–5 in double overtime to take the lead 2–0 in the series. However, Huet and the Canadiens lost the next four games and the series in goaltender duels with rookie Cam Ward, who had taken Martin Gerber's starting spot in the series, and who would later go on to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.

The Canadiens re-signed Huet in the 2006 offseason to a two-year deal at $5.75 million total, earning $3 million the first season and $2.75 million in the second year.

On January 13, 2007, Huet was announced as one of the three goalies of the Eastern Conference All-Star Team in the 55th NHL All-Star Game in Dallas. A month later, however, he suffered a left hamstring injury that caused him to miss most of the final two months of the season. In his absence, the Canadiens struggled, and the team missed the postseason.

Washington Capitals[edit]

On February 26, 2008 Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey traded the French netminder to the Washington Capitals for a 2009 second-round draft pick.[1] The Canadiens decided to trade Huet because of highly touted prospect, Carey Price. In Washington, he took over the starting position from Olaf Kölzig, pushing incumbent backup Brent Johnson to the pressbox, and his exceptional play helped lead Washington to secure a playoff berth, where they lost the opening round series against the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games.

Chicago Blackhawks[edit]

On July 1, 2008, the first day of unrestricted free-agency, Huet agreed to terms on a new 4-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks worth a total of $22.4 million or $5.625 million per season.

Following the signing, Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon announced the team would enter the season with a tandem of Huet and Nikolai Khabibulin. Unable to win the starting job over Khabibulin to start the season, Huet found himself on the bench more often than not. Gradually, he earned back his playing time and both alternated every game for almost 3 months until Khabibulin went down with a groin injury in early February. The tandem, however, earned praise around the NHL. A second Khabibulin injury in early February thrust Huet in the spotlight once again, and he was named the NHL's 3rd star of the week for Feb 15–21, posting a 3–0–0 record and allowing just five goals on 72 shots. In the end however, Khabibulin was named the playoff starter for the Blackhawks, and they defeated the Calgary Flames in the first round as well as the Vancouver Canucks in the second round.

Huet made his next appearance for the Blackhawks during game three of the 2009 Western Conference Finals, where he was called to replace an injured Khabibulin.[2] He made six saves, and allowed the Blackhawks to collect an overtime win. With Khabibulin still recovering from a lower body injury, Joel Quenneville named Huet the team's starting goalie for the fourth game against Detroit.[3] Huet allowed five goals on 21 shots, and was temporarily replaced by Corey Crawford.[4] During the final game of the series, Huet stopped 44 shots en route to a 2–1 overtime loss.[5]

For the first time in his career, Huet started a season as the undisputed number one goaltender, but as the 2009-10 campaign wore on, Antti Niemi eventually replaced Huet as Chicago's starter going into the playoffs. Huet played only twenty minutes in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which the Blackhawks won with Niemi in net and with an overall playoff record of 16–6.

Cristobal Huet with Fribourg-Gottéron in 2010

On September 27, 2010, Chicago loaned Huet to HC Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss National League A in order to stay within the salary cap.

Fribourg-Gotteron[edit]

In his first year with Fribourg-Gotteron, Huet played in 41 games but struggled in the second half of the season, accumulating a 2.84 goals against average as the team finished 8th. Fribourg qualified for the playoffs only to be swept by HC Davos. The following season he improved to a goals against average of 1.99 in 39 games, third best in the league that year. The team defeated HC Lugano in the quarterfinals in 6 games but lost to SC Bern in the semifinals in 5 games. Huet's loan and his contract with the Blackhawks expired when the playoffs ended, thus making him a free agent.[6]

Lausanne HC[edit]

Cristobal Huet with LHC in 2014

Failing to sign with an NHL team, he returned to the National League and signed a 4-year deal with Lausanne HC of the National League B. His first season in Lausanne was a success, as the team won the National League B title and went on to win promotion to the National League by defeating SC Langnau in the qualification round.

Retirement from the French national team[edit]

In May 2017, Huet played at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, in Paris, representing France. He played his last game at the final round robin game of France, against Slovenia, with a win, and ended with a standing ovation, retiring with France's Team Captain Laurent Meunier. Team France (Les Bleus) did not advance to the medal round, but was not relegated.[7][8]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

   
Season Team League GP W L T OTL Min GA SO GAA SV%
1995–96 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus 25
1996–97 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus 28
1997–98 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus 29
1998–99 HC Lugano NLA 21 1275 58 1 2.73
1999–00 HC Lugano NLA 31 1886 50 8 1.59
2000–01 HC Lugano NLA 39 2365 77 6 1.95
2001–02 HC Lugano NLA 36 2313 107 4 2.78
2002–03 Manchester Monarchs AHL 30 16 8 5 1784 68 1 2.29 .922
2002–03 Los Angeles Kings NHL 12 4 4 1 541 21 1 2.33 .913
2003–04 Los Angeles Kings NHL 41 10 16 10 2199 89 3 2.43 .907
2004–05 Adler Mannheim DEL 36 2001 93 1 2.79
2005–06 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 4 0 4 237 15 0 3.79 .862
2005–06 Montreal Canadiens NHL 36 18 11 4 2102 77 7 2.20 .929
2006–07 Montreal Canadiens NHL 42 19 16 3 2286 107 2 2.81 .916
2007–08 Montreal Canadiens NHL 39 21 12 6 2278 97 2 2.55 .916
2007–08 Washington Capitals NHL 13 11 2 0 771 21 2 1.63 .936
2008–09 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 41 20 15 4 2351 99 3 2.53 .909
2009–10 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 48 26 14 4 2731 114 4 2.50 .895
2010–11 HC Fribourg-Gottéron NLA 41 2454 116 6 2.83 .919
2011–12 HC Fribourg-Gottéron NLA 39 2319 77 1.99 .932
2012–13 Lausanne HC NLB 36 2.36 [9]
2013–14 Lausanne HC NLA 48 2649 91 2.06 .929
2014–15 Lausanne HC NLA 37 1.85 .931
2015–16 Lausanne HC NLA 46 2768 112 2.43 .910
NHL totals 272 129 90 11 21 15,261 625 24 2.46 .913

Playoff career[edit]

   
Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SA SO GAA SV%
1994–95 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus
1995–96 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus 11
1996–97 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus
1997–98 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus 12
1998–99 HC Lugano NLA 10 628 18 1 1.72
1999–00 HC Lugano NLA 13 783 29 0 2.22
2000–01 HC Lugano NLA 18 1141 39 2 2.05
2001–02 HC Lugano NLA 1 60 3 0 3.00
2002–03 Manchester Monarchs AHL 1 0 1 30 4 18 0 8.08 .778
2004–05 Adler Mannheim DEL 14 850 40 - 2 2.82
2005–06 Montreal Canadiens NHL 6 2 4 385 15 212 0 2.33 .929
2007–08 Washington Capitals NHL 7 3 4 451 22 242 0 2.90 .909
2008–09 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 3 1 2 130 7 78 0 3.23 .910
2009–10 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 1 0 0 20 0 3 0 0.00 1.000
2010–11 Fribourg-Gottéron NLA 4 0 4 212 18 89 0 5.09 .832
2011–12 Fribourg-Gottéron NLA 6 2 4 356 14 171 0 2.36 .924
2012–13 Lausanne HC NLB 19 - - - - - - 2,67 -
2013–14 Lausanne HC NLA 6 - - - - - - 2,58 .911
2014–15 Lausanne HC NLA 7 - - - - - - 1,48 .941
NHL totals 17 6 10 987 44 535 0 2.73 .918

International play[edit]

Played for France in:

International statistics[edit]

Year Team Comp GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1998 France Oly 2 1 1 0 120 5 0 2.50 .925
1999 France IIHF 1 60 6 0 6.00 .714
2000 France IIHF 4 239 11 0 2.76 .892
2002 France Oly 3 0 2 1 179 10 0 3.36 .884
2004 France IIHF 4 0 3 1 198 17 0 5.25 .851
2008 France IIHF 5 2 3 0 250 15 0 3.60 .911
2011 France IIHF 6 1 5 1 282 16 0 3.41 .913
2012 France IIHF 5 3 2 0 299 18 0 3.61 .882
2013 France IIHF 5 - - - - - - 3.36 .902
2014 France IIHF 6 - - - - - - 2.60 .902
2015 France IIHF 5 - - - - - - 2.09 .923
Cristobal Huet at the IIHF World Championship Quebec 2008

Honours[edit]

  • French Elite League Champion with the Brûleurs de loups of Grenoble, 1997/98
  • Albert Hassler Trophy (Most Valuable Domestic Player in the French Elite League), 1997/98
  • Jean Ferrand Trophy (Most Valuable Goaltender in the French Elite League), 1996/97 and 1997/98
  • Swiss National A League Champion with HC Lugano, 1998/99
  • European Hockey League Final Four with HC Lugano, 1999/00
  • Jacques Plante Trophy (Best GAA in the Swiss National A League), 1999/00 and 2000/01
  • Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award (Best Save% in the NHL – National Hockey League), 2005/06
  • Nominee for Bill Masterton Trophy (Awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.), 2005/2006
  • NHL Defensive Player of the Week 3–5–06
  • NHL All Star Team roster – 2007
  • Nominee for NHL All Star team – 2008
  • NHL 3rd star for January 2008
  • NHL 3rd star of the week (Feb 15–21 2009)
  • NHL 1st star of the week (Dec 14–21 2009)
  • NHL 2010 Stanley Cup Champion (Season 2009–2010)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cristobal Huet stops 'em all in debut game for Capitals". USA Today. 2008-03-01. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  2. ^ Ziehm, Len (2009-05-20). "Wings win 3–2 in OT, put Hawks in 2-hole". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  3. ^ "Khabibulin out, Havlat in for Game 4". Miami Herald. 2009-05-24. Retrieved 2009-05-25. [dead link]
  4. ^ Gano, Rick (2009-05-24). "Hossa, Zetterberg push Wings to verge of finals". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  5. ^ McKeon, Ross (2009-05-28). "Wednesday's Three Stars: Hip, hip, Huet. Nice try, anyway". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  6. ^ "Blackhawks send G Cristobal Huet to Swiss team". Retrieved 27 September 2010. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ (in French) Leo Anselmetti (15 May 2017). "Hockey sur glace : Clap de fin pour Cristobal Huet". France TV Sport. 
  8. ^ (in French) Benoît Lagneux (14 May 2017). "La France ne verra pas les quarts de finale". L'Alsace. 
  9. ^ http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=8702

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dwayne Roloson
Winner of the Crozier Award
2006
Succeeded by
Niklas Bäckström