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Stanley Cup Final

Halak says goodbye to Montreal

Saturday, 09.04.2010 / 5:16 PM / 2010 Offseason News

NHL.com

Playoff hero Jaroslav Halak used an autograph signing for charity on Saturday as his way of saying goodbye to Montreal hockey fans

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

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the OT winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round