|Cristobal Huet guarding the Montreal Canadiens's goal|
|6 ft 0 in (0 m)|
204 lb (93 kg)
Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble
Los Angeles Kings
|Born||September 3 1975,|
|NHL Draft||214th overall, 2001|
Los Angeles Kings
|Pro Career||1994 – present|
Cristobal Huet (French pronunciation: [kʁistɔbal ɥɛ]; born September 3, 1975) is a French professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He developed his goaltending skills in Grenoble with Les Brûleurs de Loups. He has also played with the Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, and Washington Capitals. He is the first netminder and second player overall (after Philippe Bozon) from France to play in the NHL. Huet won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks during the 2009-10 NHL season. He was the first Frenchman to win the Stanley Cup.
Playing career[edit | edit source]
Early Years[edit | edit source]
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 the Ottawa Senators to Montreal. During the 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 | edit source]
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. The Molson Cup is awarded monthly to the best Montreal Canadiens' player. 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, Miikka Kiprusoff and Manny Legace.
On April 23, in his first Stanley Cup playoffs start, Huet starred in a 6–1 win against the 2nd seed in Eastern Conference—the 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 two overtimes to take the lead 2–0 in the series. But in the next four games, Huet and the Canadiens lost by scores of 2–1, 3–2, 2–1 and 2–1 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 for two years at $5.75 million total, earning $3.00 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 | edit source]
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. Huet had become expendable to Montreal once goaltender Carey Price had arrived. He took over the starting position from Olaf Kölzig, and his exceptional play helped lead Washington to securing a playoff berth, where they lost their opening round series against the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games.
Chicago Blackhawks[edit | edit source]
On July 1, 2008, the first day of unrestricted free-agency, he 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 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 much 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. He made six saves, and allowed the Blackhawks to collect on 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. Huet allowed five goals on 21 shots, and was temporarily replaced by Corey Crawford. During the final game of the series, Huet stopped 44 shots en route to a 2-1 overtime loss.
Huet entered the 2009-2010 season as the Blackhawks undisputed number one goaltender, a first in his career. Despite a slow start, he picked up his play while backup goalie Antti Niemi excelled behind him as well. Eventually, after months of streaky play, Huet was again replaced by Niemi, who took the starting position going into the playoffs. Huet played twenty minutes in all of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Niemi playing the rest, and the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup with a playoff record of 16-6.
Career statistics[edit | edit source]
Regular season[edit | edit source]
|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||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|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|
Playoff career[edit | edit source]
|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||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
International play[edit | edit source]
Played for France in:
- 1998 Winter Olympics
- 1999 IIHF World Championship
- 2000 IIHF World Championship
- 2002 Winter Olympics
- 2004 IIHF World Championship
- 2008 IIHF World Championship
International statistics[edit | edit source]
Honours[edit | edit source]
- 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 | edit source]
- "Cristobal Huet stops 'em all in debut game for Capitals", USA Today, 2008-03-01. Retrieved on 2010-04-30.
- Ziehm, Len. "Wings win 3-2 in OT, put Hawks in 2-hole", Chicago Sun-Times, 2009-05-20. Retrieved on 2009-05-25.
- "Khabibulin out, Havlat in for Game 4", Miami Herald, 2009-05-24. Retrieved on 2009-05-25.
- Gano, Rick. "Hossa, Zetterberg push Wings to verge of finals", Yahoo! Sports, 2009-05-24. Retrieved on 2009-05-25.
- McKeon, Ross. "Wednesday's Three Stars: Hip, hip, Huet. Nice try, anyway", Yahoo! Sports, 2009-05-28. Retrieved on 2009-05-28.