New York Islanders Future Decisions Between the Pipes
The New York Islanders look like a really good team this year. However, many hockey experts find themselves saying “I really like the Islanders, but I am worried about the goaltending”. What are the future decisions between the pipes for the blue and orange.
The New York Islanders have depth in net with Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak. But who is their starting goalie and do the Isles have what most hockey experts would call a pure number-one goalie?
Greiss & Halak
Greiss has been really good for the Isles since signing here as a free agent. Yes, his numbers this year of 3.79 goals against average and .890 save percentage are not good. But remember, Greiss does have a record of 8-3-2 and his numbers are a bit skewed from the opening night game in Columbus and the home loss to Ottawa.
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Halak has better numbers than Greiss (2.93 goals against average & .905 save percentage) but a much worse record of 8-7-1.
Each guy has had a chance to grab the number one job by the throat but neither one has yet to step forward.
Is a Trade Possible?
Can the Isles swing a deal for a number one net minder between now and the trade deadline? Probably not but after the season could be another story.
Reason being why the Isles probably don’t swing a trade between now and the February 26th trade deadline is a top goalie won’t be available.
After the season there could be a market of Tuukka Rask (Bruins), Braden Holtby (Capitals), and Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas) depending upon how the rest of the seasons go for their teams.
Rask (now 30) has declined since winning the Stanley Cup and is signed for another three years following this season at a cap number of $7 million. If Washington has another early playoff exit they could move Holtby ($6.1 million cap hit & signed for 2 more years) with youngsters Philip Grubauer and Ilya Samsonov in the organization. If Malcolm Subban continues his play, Fleury could be on the market as well.
Holtby (29 next season) would be someone the Isles would have to seriously consider if he was available. Fleury’s concussion history and Rask downward trend and heavy workload make them a no-go for the Isles.
Odds are Greiss and Halak are the Islander goalie’s the rest of this season. Halak will be moving on after this season as he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Next year top prospect Linus Soderstrom could take Halak’s place on the roster. He won a championship last year in the Swedish league, playing incredibly during the playoffs with 18-4 record, 1.34 goals against average, and .943 save percentage. However, he has started slowly this year.
Next: Isles Daily: Belmont Listening Session
Yours truly is still a big believer in Greiss. His numbers are weighted down by a couple of brutal outings and the Isles have a strong record when he is in-between the pipes. We all have seen how Greiss responds to playoff hockey. Believe in Greiss, Islander fans!