After 2 years away from the greatest league in the world Cristobal Huet is hoping an NHL team will give him the shot he`s looking for.
Since being sent to Europe by the Blackhawks back in 2010 after riding the bench to a championship, Huet finds himself without an NHL contract and aching for one more chance in the NHL. "I still belong, I'm better than some other guys, and I'd like another shot" Huet said recently when interviewed in Europe. Huet also added that he had spoken with a few NHL teams about the possibility and understands that once you are out of the game for a bit teams tend to forget about you.
While Huet wasn`t at the top of his game when he left for Europe it was more likely that his paycheck was the reason he was sent packing and not his skill level. Since leaving the league in 2010 Huet has found his game while playing in Europe where the play is much more open and goalies need to work on reaction time and skating ability. Huet Credits this for his resurgent play leading up into this offseason and he see`s plenty of open back up roles for him to start out in.
Amoung the teams looking at adding another goalie to the fold could be Montreal, Vancouver, Boston, Toronto, Carolina, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. While Montreal has Carey Price behind him they have Petr Budaj a capable back up but Huet would be an improvement. Assuming the Canucks deal Roberto Luongo the team could look to add Huet as a back up to Schneider and asuming the Kings trade Bernier they will need someone to back up Quick. Philadelphia, Carolina and Toronto have similar problems having their starting goalies but having very little NHL experience beyond that point with Ben Schrivens and Justin Peters having very little experience and Michael Leighton spending last season in the minors.
Lastly are the Boston Bruins who seem to make the most sense being confortable going forward with Rask now that Thomas is taking a break from his livlihood to hate on gay marriage. My point being Rask is still relativly untested as a starter and having Anton Khudobin as the back up doesn`t make much sense so Huet could step in and be the guy should Rask struggle.
Still the whole goalie market seems to be waiting on the Roberto Luongo trade to happen before diving into the remaining free agents, and even after that he may have to wait in line as the list of veteran goalies available is a long one. It includes familiar names like Dan Ellis, Dwayne Roloson, Ty Conklin, Brent Johnson, Marty Turco and relatively unheard of AHL vet Peter Mannino.
Teams are bound to take a look at these other guys as they have been playing in the North America and wouldn`t need to re-adjust to the smaller ice surface. Still Cristobal Huet has hope saying "The latest possible to give me a chance to be back to NHL, I'm ready to take the risk, and then if nothing, I will wait until something opens in Europe."