New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak had his agent throw some twitter shade at GM Garth Snow just recently. This story will not end there.
Snow is the guy who dumped New York Islanders’ top prospect like Nino Niederreiter because he whined about a call-up. There were rumors that Dwayne Roloson mouthed off about the casual locker room, and was gone in a week. And remember those rumors that Reinhart’s father was interfering in his career?
Not that the idea that starting goalies are temperamental beasts is new. Nor is the notion that they hate the three goalie rotation. I think any GM knows there will be moments of discontent inside of a team’s inner sanctum. But when that becomes public, Garth snow is particularly unforgiving.
So where might Jaro go? There are some teams looking for a goalie. That’s not to say Halak is the right fit for all of them. But Los Angeles, Nashville, Arizona, Dallas, Winnipeg, San Jose, Carolina, and maybe Ottawa all could look for help in the net.
It’s All About Options
Let’s start knocking out contenders. Giving Carolina a goaltender probably puts them in the playoffs, and very likely at the Isles expense. So unless it’s Skinner and/or Hanafin coming north, and it ain’t, forget them.
San Jose needs a backup and has limited cap space. And nobody on their roster gives a decent return for an expensive backup. Maybe near the deadline when Jaro costs less he’d be worth something to them. But that’s still a maybe. They’re off the list.
Ottawa I don’t see as a viable option as long as Anderson stays with the team. That could change, but anything can change. That’s a no-go on Ottawa.
Who does that leave us? Maybe Dallas. They’re not satisfied with the netminders and Halak would be an improvement. And they’re an All-In-for-The-Cup-This-Year team.
Would you trade Halak for Valeri Nichushkin? He’s a young speedy talented right winger. An area of need. Value wise he’s more than you’ll get anywhere else. But you’d be trading your number one goalie for a guy on the KHL leaderboard. That’s pretty much kissing away this season. Oh, and you’d probably have to either retain salary or take some garbage back to help Dallas stay compliant.
Some Better Options Are Out There…Right?
Pekka Rinne is failing in Nashville. Would you take back Colin Wilson? He just adds to the glut of third liners on the Islanders. But maybe some new blood adds a spark? Or maybe Kevin Fiala? he’s a speedy center, once drafted early, who hasn’t been able to stick, but has to be protected in the expansion draft.
The Coyotes might make good partners with Mike Smith hurt. But what could they possibly afford to give the Islanders? I don’t see a match. Nick Merkley, but he’s a prospect who is busting.
The Kings have been thriving with Quick on the IR. But that can’t really last, can it? What’s going on in LA is complicated. Trying to hold on to contender status, flirting with the top of the cap, with holes all over an aging roster.
Why not shoot for the moon on this one. Jeff Carter is the guy the Islanders need. Why not explore what that might take, in addition to Halak?
The Kings have been searching for another defenseman for a couple years. And we’ll have to replace Carter upfront for them. And then we’ll have to balance salaries. That’s not easy.
What about Halak, and Calvin de Haan, and Anders Lee for Jeff Carter and Dwight King. The money is fairly even, the Kings get two younger competent players along with a starting goalie, the Isles finally have someone to play with Tavares and can move Pelech into de Haan’s spot.
These are my best ideas so far.