The New York Islanders are likely going to lose one of their three goaltenders to free agency come July 1st. Marking the experiment as a blight on the player’s career and an utter failure for the franchise.
It’s been two years now that the New York Islanders carry three goaltenders on their active roster. Jaroslav Halak is the defacto starter, Thomas Greiss the backup, and then there’s poor Jean-Francois Berube.
The third string goaltender that can probably draw the press box from memory, he’s been there so much. In his two years with the organization he’s played a total of eight games, starting in just six of those.
And according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, the Islanders could lose the 25-year-old Québec native for nothing come July 1st.
If Berubé plays less than 28 games this season, he’s gone to free agency. That means, with 28 games already played this year, JF would have to feature in over half the teams remaining 54 games.
And unless Garth Snow plans on trading either Halak, or Greiss, or that either of the two go down with a significant injury (fingers crossed that doesn’t happen), then Berube is out.
Which then, as Staple says in his tweet, makes this all rather meaningless. What did the Isles gain by keeping Berubé on the roster?
Cover for when Halak went down at the end of last season? Sure. But Berube only started six times, and featured an extra time, in that month and a half span. To put that in perspective, Christopher Gibson, our fourth string keeper started twice and featured four times.
That’s all that was really gained out of keeping Berube on the roster. Marginal coverage when the starter went down with an injury. And Garth couldn’t seem happier about it.
In a recent media scrum, he shrugged off notions that Berubé’s career was being wasted, echoing that Berubé can do what he wants when he becomes a free agent. Maddening.
But again, maybe a trade is coming. A package deal of Player ‘X’ and Berubé for Player ‘Y’. Just don’t expect Player ‘Y’ to be anyone of any sort of repute. Remember, Berubé’s played in eight games at this point in his two years with the Islanders.
So what exactly is the plan here? We’ll likely never know. But at this point the three goalie experiment has resulted in taking up a roster spot, hijacking a young player’s career, and giving the Isles no discernable advantage. Unless he can somehow turn Berubé into that top line winger the Isles have needed forever, this will be a failure. Good luck.