|Born||September 3, 1975 |
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||208 lb (94 kg; 14 st 12 lb)|
Los Angeles Kings
Brûleurs de Loups
|National team||Template:Country data FRA|
|NHL Draft||214th overall, 2001|
Los Angeles Kings
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.
- 1 Playing Career
- 2 Career Statistics
- 3 Awards & Achievements
- 4 International Play
- 5 Personal Life
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 Kings
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Regular Season Statistics
|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||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|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|
|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||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
Awards & Achievements
- 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)
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
Cristobal holds both French and Swiss citizenship.