The New York Islanders signed JF Berube to a one year deal today. Berube made his NHL debut with the Islanders last year, and played 7 games with the team.
The Islanders carried three goalies last year which lead to some bitterness from Jaro Halak on practice time. With the elevated play from Thomas Greiss would the Islanders be able to get by without Jaroslav Halak?
It’s a tough call, and I find myself going back and forth on the subject. I like Jaro, but I also see the potential positives to moving Halak as well.
The Islanders can create more cap space by moving Halak. Halak is a $4.5 million cap hit over the next two seasons. He’s a good goalie, but the Islanders could use that money to improve other aspects of the team.
Another pro would be that Halak does have trade value and they could package him in a deal to improve at the forward position. Although the Islanders have made a lot of moves recently, I do think that they are a players or two away from being content at the forward position.
The best result moving Halak in a deal, brings in another forward and potentially makes the Islanders a Eastern Conference contender. Although it’s just not that simple.
The Islanders last year finally had a capable backup. You felt comfortable if Halak needed a day off. You would be asking a lot out of Greiss and Berube in this situation.
Greiss would have to continue to play at the level in which he did down the stretch for the Islanders, while Berube would have to prove that he can get by as a backup.
You don’t want an injury. If Greiss goes down are you confident in Berube to take over? That’s the risk you are taking with this move.
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I think a reason the Islanders should look into this is due to the need for forwards and also the fact that Halak is most likely not the goalie of the future.
At 31 years old the Islanders aren’t looking at Halak as the long term answer, at least I don’t think they are. They have the goalie of the future he’s just playing in Russia.
Ilya Sorokin, the 20 year old Russian was impressive in his mini camp here with the team. The Islanders may be able to get by with a Greiss/Berube combo until then.
We’re just going to have to pray to the hockey gods that nobody gets hurt and or nobody’s game regresses. Other than that, it may be worth the risk.