Obama White House predicts 'gigantic’ deal for Habs’ Halak

Goalie Jaroslav Halak(notes) of the Montreal Canadiens shocked the hockey world by leading his team to a first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs upset of the No. 1-seeded Washington Capitals.

Judging from how the Obama Administration is treating him these days, he also left an indelible impression on D.C.

From the Canadian Press, a U.S. official gave the pending free-agent goaltender some high praise on Friday:

The U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, chatted about hockey during a speech in Montreal today and he saluted the Habs' surprising playoff run. The White House envoy also joked that, with his limited French, he understood the word "Halak" to mean "gigantic contract."

The Canadiens cashed in on the stellar goaltending of Halak to upset the Caps and then the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins before falling in the Eastern Conference finals to Philadelphia. This summer, it's expected to be Halak's turn to cash in. He's a restricted free agent for the Canadiens; and at 25 years old and with the free-agent goaltending market rather thin, Halak could see his $775,000 cap hit skyrocket.

We asked Halak's agent, Allan Walsh, how he felt about the White House supporting his client's next "gigantic" contract. Said Walsh:

"This is all part of the master plan, as I personally supported President Obama in the last U.S. Presidential election and appreciate his returning the favor now."

Ah, but of course. For the record, President Obama has yet to attend a Washington Capitals home game, despite living only a few blocks away from Verizon Center and despite the best efforts of the (unfortunately named) Barack The Red campaign.

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