The New York Islanders entered the 2016-17 season carrying three goaltenders on the active roster, just like they’d done the season before. The only difference this season is that this plan has absolutely exploded in Garth Snow’s face.
Carrying three goalies on an active roster was laughable, but last season it came in handy for the New York Islanders when Jaroslav Halak went down with a season-ending injury. In stepped Thomas Greiss to become the starter and Jean-Francois Berube the backup.
Generally, when this happens to teams the AHL guy gets a call to become the backup. They don’t carry a third guy around in the off chance that something terrible happens to either of the two other guys. But the plan kinda worked for Isles.
Greiss was more than capable to fill in for Halak and Berube seemed like an alright backup. So when Garth Snow decided to run the gambit a second time, it still met ridicule, and rightfully so. But maybe he knew something we didn’t know.
Nope. He just. Well, who knows what the plan was.
What Was The Plan Exactly?
Scott Burnside said it perfectly when referring to Snow’s three goalie plan: “What was the plan for Isles again?” At this point, it’s anyone’s guess really.
After terrible on-ice performances and some very public complaining about the situation, Jaroslav Halak is now playing in Bridgeport.
And Jean-Francois Berube, the goaltender that Snow wanted to protect at seemingly all costs has put up 3.42GAA and .889SV% in 14 games played this season.
Even Greiss, the deserving recipient of a three-year $10 million extension this season, has started to slip. But that might happen when Greiss starts every game on the Isles record nine-game road trip.
More from Eyes on Isles: Goaltenders Will Be Why Isles Miss Playoff
This wasn’t the plan. But what was it exactly? Trade any of them?The time to strike was when the iron was hot. When Los Angeles lost Jonathan Quick to injury and relied on Peter Budaj. Or when Colorado was still looking for answers to their problems at the start of the season.
But now, how is a trade going to happen? Berube hasn’t done anything to give himself any worth in the trade market. Even Jonathan Bernier was only worth a conditional pick in 2017. And that’s someone who’s average a .914SV% and 2.68GAA. What’s Berube’s average .900SV% and 3.11GAA worth? Nothing.
And it’s not likely going to go up either. With every team needing to protect a single goalie in the expansion draft the trade market is going to be flooded with backups being sent to-and-fro.
A Big Fat Flop
This three goalie decision has been a total failure for this franchise and will continue to be so until it is resolved (Halak in Bridgeport doesn’t solve this).
This is the type of decision that people get called into the office for by the powers that be for a talkin’. A talk to try and suss out what the end goal was for Garth anyways?
But at this point, the damage is done. Trying to understand or justify it doesn’t help resolve it. It clear that being both the President of Hockey Operations and the General Manager is a bit too much for Garth.
Or at the very least he needs someone who has some hockey knowledge to be that check and balance on his decision making. Where is that President of Hockey Ops that Ledecky and Malkin were looking for anyways?
Once Garth has another body to answer to, someone who has a hockey management background (love Ledecky and Malkin, but they’re businessmen) maybe they sort out some of these strange moves. Garth isn’t all bad, he’s drafted relatively well and made a few great trade (Leddy and Boychuk), but he needs some help. Now please.