As hockey fans, we occasionally get upset at our players for being the most docile, beige group of quotes on the planet. We know they’re not actually dull, and we know it’s smart to avoid saying inflammable things, but c’mon – football teams play 16 games a year and find a way to average at least one great quote per team each week. We’d settle for that.
Well, we got one, even though it’s the off-season. Maybe Cristobal Huet wanted to get everyone’s attention – “Hey guys, I exist, remember?” – or maybe he meant it. Either way, he uttered the rarely heard public statement of confidence from a hockey player.
From his interview with Kevin Woodley of InGoal Magazine (very good read):
“I still belong, I’m better than some other guys, and I’d like another shot. I’d love to come back, but I know once you are out of the League a little bit guys tend to forget about you and that’s the nature of the beast. But I still think I have something to show in the NHL, and to prove I still belong there. For me it would be a great second chance to come back and play in the best league.”
As Woodley pointed out in his article, Huet was once an NHL all-star who signed a four-year 22 million dollar-plus contract in the League.
And actually, it’s not unthinkable Huet could end up back in the NHL. More from Woodley:
So the Blackhawks, fresh off a Stanley Cup victory with Huet on the bench in favor of Antti Niemi, and facing a salary cap crunch that would break up their championship roster forever, sent Huet and the remaining two seasons of a four-year, $22.4-million contract overseas, where it didn’t count against the cap.
Now, with that $5.625-million per season deal expired, Huet is a free agent once again. And with NHL teams scrambling for experienced backup help after Martin Biron re-signed with the Rangers and Johan Hedberg made it clear to suitors he planned to stay in New Jersey, they could do a lot worse than Huet.
Think there’s a team willing to take a chance on him?
…I’m guessing Winnipeg. They don’t have any mediocre goalies do they?