The New York Islanders signed goaltender Thomas Greiss to a 3 year $10 Million dollar extension on Monday, putting J.F. Berube’s Islander career in jeopardy.
When the New York Islanders picked up Berube off waivers prior to the 2015-2016 season they just may have thought they found their diamond in the rough.
At the time the 23-year-old Berube was coming off a season where he went 37-9-4 with a 2.17 goals against average with the Manchester Monarchs, the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. The Monarchs also won the Calder Cup that season, the AHL’s championship trophy.
The Kings were in a sticky situation and in danger of going into the 2015-2016 season with a three-goalie system (where have we heard this before?). Los Angeles decided to test the waters and keep Jonathan Quick and Jonas Enroth on the active roster. Thier hope was for Berube to clear waivers and stay in the system. That’s where the Islanders came in.
With Jaroslav Halak’s health in jeopardy as the season began the Isles claimed Berube and threw him right into the mix starting the team’s second game of the season in Chicago.
Welcome To The Circus
Since than Berube’s Islanders career has been a circus, to say the least. Once Halak returned Berube watched most of the season in the press box until Halak went down yet again with the playoffs around the corner.
New York Islanders
You all the know how the rest goes down. Every sign in the world said Garth Snow would remove someone from the three-goalie system before this year started. Snow opted to keep all three and eventually had little choice than to put Halak on waivers. Halak has posted a 6-2-1 record in nine games with the Sound Tigers.
Berube will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season if he does not appear in at least 28 games. Forty-seven games into the season, Berube has only appeared in six games. The 25-year-old will have to play in 22 of the team’s last 35 games to remain under the Islanders control.
Before the Islanders rescued themselves from the depths of the Eastern Conference and re-entered the playoff race I thought there was maybe a shot that would happen. Now that the team has resigned Greiss as the clear number one and are only five points out of the last wild-card spot, they will ride Greiss to the end.
Mishandled and Mistreated
Berube is more than likely to be on the free agent market and he is more than likely to leave. You can’t blame him either. Berube has been mistreated and mishandled in his short time with the Islanders and his agent has not kept quiet about it.
He has yet to get a true shot in the NHL and without a doubt, a team on the market will lick their lips at the chance at a diamond in the rough, the same way the Islanders did two years ago.
More from Eyes on Isles: Isles Aren’t Being Kicked Out, But They Won’t Stay Long Either
For next season the Islanders can choose to let Halak get a crack at the backup job in the final year of his four-year deal or they can bring up someone from Bridgeport. Christopher Gibson has shown potential in limited time this season due to injury.
Greiss’s new contract will hopefully pave the way to the Islanders next goalie of the future. All Isles fans have high hopes for Ilya Sorokin. The 21-year-old continues to dominate the KHL this season.
In that same draft Snow also drafted Linus Soderstrom. Soderstrom isn’t having a bad year himself in the Swedish league, posting an 11-3 record with a 0.932 save percentage.
No matter whom the Isles go with as the backup next season signing Greiss was a solid deal for the Islanders and makes their goalie situation much clearer for years to come.