An estimated 5,000 fans stretched the length of the Fairview Mall in Pointe-Claire, Que., and a long way outside the building. Halak agreed to sign autographs at the Capsule Sportive store in the mall to raise money for the Ste Justine Children's Hospital -- and as a farewell gesture to the Montreal fans.
"It feels weird, but I have good memories in Montreal and that's why I wanted to say thank you to the fans," Halak said.
Halak's brilliance in goal led the Canadiens to upset playoff series wins over Washington and Pittsburgh and a surprise berth in the NHL Eastern Conference final last spring. However, the Canadiens traded the 25-year-old goaltender to St. Louis on June 17 for forwards Lars Elller and Ian Schultz. He then signed a multi-year contract with the Blue.
The Canadiens opted to stick with Carey Price, the No. 5 pick in the 2005 Entry Draft, as their starting goaltender.
Material from wire services was used in this report