Because I feel like arguing and am enjoying sitting on my deck much too much... You get a boring stupid argument for why Sanford won't/shouldn't be Price's backup:
- The Bulldogs need another goalie. According to this article in the Spec, Marc Denis is not coming back to the Bulldog's lineup. That leaves the Cedric Desjardins as the main goalie, but right now there's nobody else. From what I understand, none of the goalies from the farm are ready to make the jump to the AHL. So the Bulldogs needed another goalie. Sanford is that goalie.
- Halak has played more games in the NHL/AHL in the last two years than Sanford has. But apparently because Sanford has some NHL experience, that means he can easily make the jump to the Habs team and therefore Gainey is trading Halak away. While it's true that Sanford has played more games in the NHL than Halak has (Sanford has 108 to Halak's 54) overall, in the last two years, Sanford has played in 35 games to Halak's 40 (Sanford also played in 16 games in the AHL to Halak's 28 during that span). Halak's stats are also better in his NHL games than Sanford's were.
- Sanford is injury prone. What Sanford's numbers also don't say is that he is injury prone. In his first stint with the Blues in 2003, he went down with an ankle injury. He would play 65 games in the 06 and 07 seasons but he went down with an ankle sprain in 06 and had groin issues through 07. He filled in for Luongo (when Luongo was out for an extended period of time) in the past season but ended up suffering back spasms in one game and was eventually placed on IR with another groin injury in December.
- Yes, Price could benefit from an experienced goalie.... and yes, Sanford has more experience as a player than Halak does, but Sanford has played mostly in the AHL. Apart from his 65 games over two seasons in 06 and 07 with the Blues, he hasn't had much playing experience in the NHL - which I think is a totally different ballpark in the mental aspect of the game. Sanford is not the goalie they want to help Price with his mental stuff (and if you ask me, that is where Price needs help).
- If they trade Halak for a second line center... then what? So they have Price in Montreal. Sanford and Desjardins in Hamilton. If they call up Sanford then they have to go goalie shopping for Desjardins - unless we determine that one of the prospects can make the cut in the AHL. If Sanford is injured or they determine that he won't do well in the NHL, then they either call up Desjardins or go goalie shopping. Either way, unless one of the prospects is ready, they have to go goalie shopping if they trade away Halak.
I'm not saying that Gainey isn't going to trade Halak. I'm not saying that Halak should be Price's backup forever (even though I'd love that). What I am saying is that just because Gainey signed Sanford, it doesn't automatically mean that he going to trade Halak and that Sanford is going to take his place.