The Islanders have hit a bit of a rough patch when it comes to goaltending. Bring in Halak we all say, but the situation isn’t that easy. Because that means the three-headed hydra is back.
We all know that Islanders Jean-Francois Berube can’t stop a beach ball at the moment. I almost feel bad saying that because I feel that he’s definitely got the short end of the stick. But when given an opportunity, you got to take advantage of it.
And a .889 SV% and 3.42 GAA isn’t taking advantage of anything. Sorry J-F.
So send him down and bring up Jaroslav Halak! If Halak can go through waivers without any sign of interest then J-F will certainly do the same. Not so fast.
Not so fast.
There’s a reason that Berube hasn’t been sent down yet. And that reason is section 13.12 (k) i-iii of the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement:
"Article 13.12 (j) A Player may be Loaned to a club of any league affiliated with the League at anytime up to 3:00 p.m. New York time of the fortieth (40th) day immediately preceding the finalday of the Regular Season (the “Trade Deadline”). Following this period, no Player may beLoaned, except that:"
To this rule, there are three exceptions for when a player can indeed be sent back to Bridgeport. Neither of which applies to J-F because they only cover players who were called up to the Club – the Islanders – before the trade deadline.
The Three-Headed Hydra Returns
The Islanders can’t send Berube back down to the minors, per the CBA. So that means we all get to pledge our allegiance to Hydra. The three-headed goaltender hydra that Garth Snow created.
If they bring up Halak, which at this point seems like the best course of action, then the Islanders immediately put themselves back into that most ridiculous of situations. Having three goaltenders on the active roster, when only two are required.
What happens to JF in such a situation is anyone’s guess.
I doubt that Snow is willing to recreate the situation that alienated Halak so much that his agent took to Twitter to complain on his client’s behalf. Meaning not only would Berube not get any playing time, but forget about practice time as well.
The Islanders are stuck between a rock and a hard place. With a goalie stinking it up and essentially locked into a roster spot. And another goalie playing lights out in Bridgeport that can’t come up because of a gamble the GM took on Berube, who’s stinking it up. Greiss is going to make up all those years being a backup by playing the next 12 games straight. God help him if the Isles actually make the playoffs.