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