One of the areas many want the New York Islanders to address this off-season is where and when they move Jaroslav Halak. Garth Snow placed Halak on waivers this past season and discussed trading him at the deadline. Let’s break down the possible landing spots for Halak.
Since the New York Islanders placed Jaroslav Halak on waivers and eventually sent him down to the AHL (Bridgeport Sound Tigers), the Slovakian goalie only appeared in 28 games this past season. Halak compiled a record of 12-9-5 with 2.80 goals against average and .915 save percentage.
Halak enters next season at age 32 and on the last year of his contract, that carries a $4.5 million cap hit. With the Islanders having signed Thomas Greiss to a three-year extension during this past season, it would appear Halak could be heading elsewhere this summer.
There is no question that if the Arizona Coyotes acquired Halak he would be their starting goalie based on performance. But will the Arizona front office be interested in Halak with Mike Smith ($5.67 million cap hit) and Louis Domingue ($1.050 million cap hit) signed next season?
If the Coyotes want to greatly improve for next season they would have to improve in goal. Although, this is Arizona and they might be willing to roll the dice with the 35-year old Smith and the youngster Domingue.
New York Islanders
The big question for the Calgary Flames this off-season is what do they do in between the pipes. Both of their veteran net minders, Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson are unrestricted free agents this off-season.
Although the downside is Calgary’s top two goalie prospects, who both are on The Hockey News recent top 50 prospect list, Tyler Parsons (#34) and Jon Gillies (#49) could be ready for the NHL in the near future.
Does Calgary go after a big fish such as Ben Bishop or do they look for a veteran bridge goalie until their top youngsters are ready? If they are looking for a bridge goalie, Halak makes a lot of sense for Calgary.
There is a good chance when all NHL clubs submit their exposed list for expansion, the Vegas Golden Knights may not have many solid options in terms of goalie’s.
If that is the case and if general manager, George McPhee doesn’t want to go after a big goalie in free agency then Halak to Sin City could be an interesting fit.
Keep in mind McPhee would not select Halak in expansion. If Halak were to go to Vegas it would occur after the expansion draft via trade.
Clearly, the Winnipeg Jets could be a future powerhouse in the West. However, a big key for the Jets this off-season is if they can land a solid veteran goaltender to go along with the promising youngster, Connor Hellebuyck.
Halak would be a great fit for the Jets in that regard. If they upgrade the goalie position they’ll be printing playoff tickets in Winnipeg.
Odds are if the Islanders move Halak they will probably have to eat at least one-third ($1.5 million cap hit) of his remaining contract. If the Isles do trade Halak they would then have to either trade for or sign in free agency a backup goalie.
From a cap standpoint if Halak is removed and replaced it probably results in minimal savings in terms of the cap. From a team standpoint, it all depends on who the Isles get to replace Halak.
There should be no reservations with Thomas Greiss being the Islanders number one goalie. Can the Isles make the right moves where it makes sense to replace Halak?