New York Islanders Acquire Kristers Gudlevskis From Tampa Bay

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 19: Kristaps Sotnieks
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 19: Kristaps Sotnieks /

On NHL Free Agency day the New York Islanders haven’t been too active, aside from swapping Kristers Gudlevskis for Carter Verhaeghe.

The New York Islanders acquired a goaltender in exchange for a center they acquired in the Michael Grabner trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. They also swapped two very difficult names to pronounce and spell.

The Islanders sent Carter Verhaeghe to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Kristers Gudlevskis. If you think you remember the name but don’t know where from, think back to the Sochi Olympics.

The game you’re remembering is Canada v. Latvia in the quarter-finals. Where little Latvia, coached by former New York Islanders head coach Ted Nolan, held their own against the superior Canadians. Thanks to the herculean efforts of Gudlevskis and his 56 save night.

Since that day in 2014, Gudllevskis has been playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning and their AHL affiliate the Syracuse Crunch. In the AHL this season he’s put up a 0.897 SV% and 2.65 GAA in 37 games played.

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The Isles sent Carter Verhaeghe the other way. In 64 games between the AHL Sound Tigers and ECHL Maverick, Verhaeghe has 28 goals and 61 points.

Is This JF 2.0?

I don’t think this is another Jean-Francois Berube situation forming. I get the apprehension. For the rest of his career, Garth Snow is going to face skepticism whenever he acquires a depth goalie. And he deserves it.

But in this case, I don’t see Gudlevskis as someone who’s going to be a healthy scratch for most of the season. If anything this is Garth getting his goaltending situation in order.

Christopher Gibson and now Gudlevskis are going to be the 1-2 in Bridgeport. That could be usurped by Eamon McAdams, depending on how well he plays in training camp. But, to me, that’s the order.

Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss in the NHL, Gibson and Gudlevskis in the AHL and McAdams in the ECHL.