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Halak not concerned with contract status

As soon as teams are eliminated after a deep playoff run, there are two questions that are asked of players the next day.

The first kind are the reflections on the series loss, the season past and rumination on what went wrong.

The next are saved for the pending free agents. Hey, the season has only been over for a day, but what are your plans moving forward?

Jaroslav Halak, the hero for the Canadiens along the road of an improbable playoff run, will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 1st. While the Canadiens had previously turned via free agency to Carey Price, I’m guessing that the team would rather have Halak for the long term. He’s not thinking about any of that just yet:

“Right now, don’t think about it,” Halak said Tuesday when asked what his priorities are when it comes to his contract status. “This is not going to happen today or tomorrow, it’s going to happen over the summer.

“It’s a good question, but right now I just want to go on vacation and put aside hockey and not think about it.”

There’s always the fear that a player that gets so hot in the playoffs ends up being just a one-time shot in the pan, someone who cashes in on a great postseason and never lives up to high expectations. For Halak though, he’s a goaltender who was in high demand for the most of the season, with the Canadiens reluctant to part ways with him via trade unless a king’s ransom was paid.

Halak has the tools and the ability to a long-term, solid goaltender for the Canadiens and he’s already become something of a cult figure in Montreal.

I’m guessing the contract issues will work themselves out just fine.