New York enters the off-season with a unique dilemma known as the Islanders goalie triangle. The Islanders have three goalies who can play at the NHL level. Something has to give for the Isles regarding Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss, and J.F. Berube.
Halak has been a number one netminder in the NHL for the last number of years now. He has been an under-the-radar, solid number one goalie in the league. The word underrated comes to mind in regards to Halak. While Halak missed the last six weeks of the season due to a groin injury he had another solid year with a 2.30 goals against average and .919 save percentage. For his career, the Czech goalie has 2.38 goals against average and .917 save percentage in 359 starts.
Halak just turned 31 but is still very capable of being a starting goalie for a contending team for the next couple of years. The Islanders have him signed for two more seasons with a reasonable cap number of $4.5 million.
— Empire Writes Back (@EmpireWritesBck) May 15, 2016
Greiss & Berube
There is no doubt that Thomas Greiss stood tall this year for the Islanders in the playoffs. In fact, Greiss along with John Tavares were the Islanders’ two best players this postseason. The German net minder’s play in the playoffs comes off a strong regular season where he went 23-11 with a 2.36 goals against average and .925 save percentage. Greiss had one of the top save percentages in the league this year.
During the course of the year, many hockey observers thought Greiss would wear down. The thinking behind this was because of Greiss’s limited workload in the league the last few years. Greiss showed everyone he is very capable of being a starting goalie in the NHL. He recently received high praise from his general manager Garth Snow.
He came in and displayed a great work ethic, whether he was playing or backing up. Thomas earned the respect from our players and coaches because of his personality, his demeanor, his work ethic and when he got the opportunity to play, he seized it. He proved to be a No. 1 goalie this season. The challenge is to improve, build off that and get better.
Greiss is signed for one more year with a cap number of just $1.5 million.
J.F. Berube is a very intriguing player. New York claimed him off waivers from the LA Kings at the beginning of this past season. The 24-year old goalie did not play much but nevertheless, he impressed the Islanders brass with his potential, strong work ethic, and confidence. With Greiss signed for just one more season and Halak just two more years, the Islanders would like to keep Berube.
— Peter Harling? (@pharling) May 3, 2016
There are a few teams in the market for a goalie this off-season. They include the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The good news for the Islanders is this summer’s crop of unrestricted free agent goalies is very thin and without a clear-cut starting netminder. The smart money is on the Islanders moving Halak for a prospect and a draft pick. New York would then free up even more cap space and add future assets to help them acquire a signature forward to play alongside Tavares.