New York Islanders Garth Snow Learned His Lesson With Goalies

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Jaroslav Halak
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Jaroslav Halak /

The New York Islanders have trimmed their training camp roster down by almost half. What’s left is essentially the team’s active roster. And amongst the names are but two goalies.

For two straight seasons, the New York Islanders carried three goalies on their active roster. No team carries three goalies for that long. But the Isles sure did.

So even though the Islanders third-string goalie Jean-Francois Berube was picked up by the Vegas Golden Knights at the expansion draft Isles fans always had that seed of doubt in the back of their minds. Would Garth do it again?

In the offseason, the New York Islanders traded for Tampa Bay’s third-string guy and Latvia national hero Kristers Gudlevskis for Carter Verhaeghe. And Isles fans got worried.

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Waivers Exist!

But now that the New York Islanders have trimmed down their roster Gudlevskis isn’t on the list. He was sent through waivers to be assigned to the AHL. Due to contractual obligations, Gudlevskis had to pass through waivers. You can read up on waiver rules here.

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You’d have to imagine Garth Snow knew that he’d have to place Gudlevskis on waivers when he acquired him. That just seems to be a basic notion for a GM to know when acquiring a player. And if he didn’t know someone around him should.

And he did it. He placed Gudlevskis on waivers. He had to, but he still traded for the player and sent him on waivers. Something Garth just couldn’t bring himself to do for two years. For two seasons Garth just couldn’t bring himself to send JF Berube to the AHL through waivers.

As though teams were lining up to take Berube. Assuming that’s true what was the worst that could happen? The Isles have to find themselves an ECHL caliber goalie? That can’t be hard.

It was absurd then, and it’s still absurd now that Snow was willing to jeopardize the roster just to retain a goalie he wasn’t going to use. And when he did, Berube was a .900 SV% and 3.11GAA in the NHL.

But now he’s learned that not every goalie you place on the waiver list is going to be taken. Especially when their AHL quality goalies. Just like Gudlevskis.

Next: Isles Cut Training Camp Roster

I’d expect Gudlevskis to pass through just fine. Just as Berube would have done. And then we can all see that Garth learned his lesson. The hard way