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Cristobal Huet
CHuet.jpg
Born September 3, 1975 (1975-09-03) (age 41)
Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 208 lb (94 kg; 14 st 12 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
NLA team
Former teams
Lausanne HC
NHL
Los Angeles Kings
Montreal Canadiens
Washington Capitals
Chicago Blackhawks
Ligue Magnus
Brûleurs de Loups
NLA
HC Lugano
Fribourg-Gottéron
National team Template:Country data FRA
NHL Draft 214th overall, 2001
Los Angeles Kings
Playing career 1994–present

Cristobal Huet (born Cristobal S. Huet on September 3, 1975) is a French professional ice hockey goaltender who currently plays for the Lausanne HC of the National League A.

He has also played for HC Lugano and Fribourg-Gottéron of the Swiss National League A. In the National Hockey League, he played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and the Washington Capitals.

Cristobal is the first French netminder and second French-trained player overall (after Philippe Bozon) to play in the NHL.

Cristobal won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2009–10 NHL season and became the first Frenchman to win the Stanley Cup as a player. He developed his goaltending skills in Grenoble with Les Brûleurs de Loups.

Playing CareerEdit

HC LuganoEdit

Cristobal played for HC Lugano from the 1998-99 season to 2001-02. His career took a significant turn in these years. He won the National League A Championship in his first year and reached the European Hockey League final four the next year.

Los Angeles KingsEdit

Cristobal was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings as their seventh-round pick (214th overall) in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Kings in the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 seasons. He was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in a three-team deal that sent Mathieu Garon to Los Angeles and Radek Bonk from Ottawa to Montreal.

During the 2004-05 lockout, Cristobal played for the Mannheim Eagles in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. He led the team to the finals where the Eagles lost in three straight games to Eisbären Berlin.

Montreal CanadiensEdit

During the 2005–06 season, Cristobal eventually won the starting job in goal for the Canadiens at the expense of José Théodore who was subsequently traded to Colorado in exchange for goaltender David Aebischer. He also won the Molson Cup in February of 2006.

Crisotbal won the Best Defensive Player award from the NHL during the first week of March, ousting goaltenders such as the Ottawa Senators' Ray Emery and the New Jersey Devils' Martin Brodeur with a 3–0–0 record and a 1.67 GAA.

For the second time of the year, he was named NHL Best Defensive Player on April 3rd with a 3–0–0 record, a 0.65 GAA and 0.979 SV%, ousting goaltenders Martin Brodeur, Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and Detroit's Manny Legace.

On April 23rd (in his first NHL playoff start), Cristobal starred in a 6–1 win against the 2nd seeded and eventual Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes. Huet stopped 42 of 43 shots in the contest to put the Canadiens up 1–0 in the seven game series.

Two days later, Cristobal recorded his first overtime playoff win when the Canadiens beat the Hurricanes 6–5 in double overtime to take the lead 2–0 in the series,

However, Cristobal and the Canadiens lost the next four games and the series in goaltender duels with rookie Cam Ward who had taken Martin Gerber's starting spot in the series and who would later go on to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.

The Canadiens re-signed Cristobal in the 2006 offseason to a two-year deal at $5.75 million total, earning $3 million the first season and $2.75 million in the second year.

On January 13, 2007, Cristobal was announced as one of the three goalies of the Eastern Conference All-Star Team in the 55th NHL All-Star Game in Dallas.

However, a month later, Cristobal suffered a left hamstring injury that caused him to miss most of the final two months of the season. In his absence, the Canadiens struggled and the team missed the postseason.

Washington CapitalsEdit

On February 26, 2008, Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey traded the French netminder to the Washington Capitals for a 2009 second-round draft pick. The Canadiens decided to trade Cristobal because of highly touted prospect Carey Price.

In Washington, Cristobal took over the starting position from Olaf Kolzig, pushing incumbent backup Brent Johnson to the pressbox and his exceptional play helped lead Washington to secure a playoff berth, where they lost the opening round series against the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games.

Chicago BlackhawksEdit

On July 1, 2008 (on the first day of unrestricted free-agency), Cristobal agreed to terms on a new 4-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks worth a total of $22.4 million or $5.625 million per season.

Following the signing, Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon announced the team would enter the season with a tandem of Cristobal and Nikolai Khabibulin. Unable to win the starting job over Khabibulin to start the season, he found himself on the bench more often than not.

Gradually, Cristobal earned back his playing time and both alternated every game for almost 3 months until Khabibulin went down with a groin injury in early February. The tandem, however, earned praise around the NHL.

A second Khabibulin injury in early February thrust Cristobal in the spotlight once again and he was named the NHL's 3rd star of the week for February 15–21, posting a 3–0–0 record and allowing just five goals on 72 shots.

In the end however, Khabibulin was named the playoff starter for the Blackhawks, and they defeated the Calgary Flames in the first round as well as the Vancouver Canucks in the second round.

Cristobal made his next appearance for the Blackhawks during game three of the 2009 Western Conference Finals, where he was called to replace an injured Khabibulin. He made six saves and allowed the Blackhawks to collect an overtime win.

With Khabibulin still recovering from a lower body injury, Joel Quenneville named Cristobal the team's starting goalie for the fourth game against Detroit.

Cristobal allowed five goals on 21 shots, and was temporarily replaced by Corey Crawford. During the final game of the series, he stopped 44 shots en route to a 2–1 overtime loss.

Cristobal entered the 2009–2010 season as the Blackhawks undisputed number one goaltender, a first in his career. Despite a slow start, he picked up his play while backup goalie Antti Niemi excelled behind him as well.

Eventually (after months of streaky play), Cristobal was again replaced by Niemi, who took the starting position going into the playoffs. He played twenty minutes in all of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs with Niemi playing the rest, and the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup with a playoff record of 16–6.

On September 27, 2010, Cristobal was loaned to HC Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss National League A to relieve the Blackhawks' salary cap issues.

Fribourg-GotteronEdit

In his first year with Fribourg-Gotteron, Cristobal played in 41 games but struggled mightily in the second half of the season, resulting in a 2.84 goals against average as the team finished 8th. They qualified for the playoffs only to be swept by HC Davos.

The following season, Cristobal turned it around as he posted a 1.99 goals against average in 39 games and finished 3rd that year. The team defeated HC Lugano in the quarterfinals in 6 games, but lost to SC Bern in the semifinals in 5 games.

Cristobal's loan and contract with the Blackhawks expired when the playoffs ended, making him a free agent.

Lausanne HCEdit

After being unable to sign with a team in the NHL, Cristobal returned to the Swiss League and signed a 4-year deal with Lausanne HC of the National League B.

His first season in Lausanne was a success after the team won the National League B title and went on to win the promotion relegation match against SC Langnau, promoting the team to the National League A.

Career StatisticsEdit

Regular Season Statistics Edit

   
Season Team League GP W L T OTL Min GA SO GAA SV%
1995–96 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus 25
1996–97 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus 28
1997–98 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus 29
1998–99 HC Lugano NLA 21 1275 58 1 2.73
1999–00 HC Lugano NLA 31 1886 50 8 1.59
2000–01 HC Lugano NLA 39 2365 77 6 1.95
2001–02 HC Lugano NLA 36 2313 107 4 2.78
2002–03 Manchester Monarchs AHL 30 16 8 5 1784 68 1 2.29 .922
2002–03 Los Angeles Kings NHL 12 4 4 1 541 21 1 2.33 .913
2003–04 Los Angeles Kings NHL 41 10 16 10 2199 89 3 2.43 .907
2004–05 Adler Mannheim DEL 36 2001 93 1 2.79
2005–06 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 4 0 4 237 15 0 3.79 .862
2005–06 Montreal Canadiens NHL 36 18 11 4 2102 77 7 2.20 .929
2006–07 Montreal Canadiens NHL 42 19 16 3 2286 107 2 2.81 .916
2007–08 Montreal Canadiens NHL 39 21 12 6 2278 97 2 2.55 .916
2007–08 Washington Capitals NHL 13 11 2 0 771 21 2 1.63 .936
2008–09 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 41 20 15 4 2351 99 3 2.53 .909
2009–10 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 48 26 14 4 2731 114 4 2.50 .895
2010–11 HC Fribourg-Gottéron NLA 41 2454 116 6 2.83 .919
2011–12 HC Fribourg-Gottéron NLA 39 2319 77 1.99 .932
NHL totals 272 129 90 11 21 15261 625 24 2.46 .913

Playoff StatisticsEdit

   
Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SA SO GAA SV%
1994–95 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus
1995–96 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus 11
1996–97 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus
1997–98 Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble Ligue Magnus 12
1998–99 HC Lugano NLA 10 628 18 1 1.72
1999–00 HC Lugano NLA 13 783 29 0 2.22
2000–01 HC Lugano NLA 18 1141 39 2 2.05
2001–02 HC Lugano NLA 1 60 3 0 3.00
2002–03 Manchester Monarchs AHL 1 0 1 30 4 18 0 8.08 .778
2004–05 Adler Mannheim DEL 14 850 40 - 2 2.82
2005–06 Montreal Canadiens NHL 6 2 4 385 15 212 0 2.33 .929
2007–08 Washington Capitals NHL 7 3 4 451 22 242 0 2.90 .909
2008–09 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 3 1 2 130 7 78 0 3.23 .910
2009–10 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 1 0 0 20 0 3 0 0.00 1.000
2010–11 Fribourg-Gottéron NLA 4 0 4 212 18 89 0 5.09 .832
2011–12 Fribourg-Gottéron NLA 6 2 4 356 14 171 0 2.36 .924
NHL totals 17 6 10 987 44 535 0 2.73 .918

International StatisticsEdit

Year Team Comp GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1998 France Oly 2 1 1 0 120 5 0 2.50 .925
1999 France IIHF 1 60 6 0 6.00 .714
2000 France IIHF 4 239 11 0 2.76 .892
2002 France Oly 3 0 2 1 179 10 0 3.36 .884
2004 France IIHF 4 0 3 1 198 17 0 5.25 .851
2008 France IIHF 5 2 3 0 250 15 0 3.60 .911
2011 France IIHF 6 1 5 1 282 16 0 3.41 .913
2012 France IIHF 5 3 2 0 299 18 0 3.61 .882

Awards & AchievementsEdit

  • French Elite League Champion with the Brûleurs de loups of Grenoble, 1997/98
  • Albert Hassler Trophy (Most Valuable Domestic Player in the French Elite League), 1997/98
  • Jean Ferrand Trophy (Most Valuable Goaltender in the French Elite League), 1996/97 and 1997/98
  • Swiss National A League Champion with HC Lugano, 1998/99
  • European Hockey League Final Four with HC Lugano, 1999/00
  • Jacques Plante Trophy (Best GAA in the Swiss National A League), 1999/00 and 2000/01
  • Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award (Best Save% in the NHL – National Hockey League), 2005/06
  • Nominee for Bill Masterton Trophy (Awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.), 2005/2006
  • NHL Defensive Player of the Week 3–5–06
  • NHL All Star Team roster – 2007
  • Nominee for NHL All Star team – 2008
  • NHL 3rd star for January 2008
  • NHL 3rd star of the week (Feb 15–21 2009)
  • NHL 1st star of the week (Dec 14–21 2009)
  • NHL 2010 Stanley Cup Champion (w\Chicago Blackhawks)

International PlayEdit

Cristobal has played for France in the:

  • Olympic Games: 1998, 2002
  • World Championships: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2012
  • World Championship Division I: 2001, 2002
  • Olympic qualification: 2001, 2005
  • World Junior Ice Hockey Championships (pool B): 1995

Personal LifeEdit

Cristobal holds both French and Swiss citizenship.

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