New York Islanders: Ideas For 2019 Goalie Situation
By Tim Ryder
The New York Islanders are at a crossroads when it comes to their goaltending situation after this year. Jaro Halak is due to become a free-agent at the end of the season, leaving the Isles with only a couple of in-house options.
When Jaroslav Halak‘s contract expires at the end of this season, the New York Islanders will be left with only Thomas Greiss and newcomer, Christopher Gibson, as the only netminders on the active roster.
While I wouldn’t be totally against a Greiss/Gibson combination next season, if I were running the (blank)show that is the current state of the Islanders, I’d go in a different direction altogether.
After discussing the situation, at length, with my brain-trust from the couch of knowledge, we came to a pretty viable and potentially workable solution.
Thomas Greiss could very well re-emerge as a capable goaltender if/when he’s given the starting job again. He’s performed well in the past and, although this season was a mess for him, gives no inclination that he won’t get back to that point.
Unfortunately, if it were up to me, we wouldn’t get to that point. Chris Gibson has looked pretty darn good over his first two starts since being recalled.
So good, in fact, I (and many others) would be comfortable giving Gibby the rest of the starts from here on out, so we can get a good look at the goalie that could potentially take us from now until the Linus Soderstrom or (fingers crossed) Ilya Sorokin era(s) begin.
I’d take the New York Islanders in a different direction in net
The New York Islanders missed the boat on potentially upgrading their roster for this season and into the future by not making any significant moves before the trade deadline.
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Players with expiring contracts like Halak or Nikolai Kulemin would have brought back draft picks, at the very least. Let’s not get into the John Tavares possibilities.
But now that the season is over and the ship has seemingly sailed on a 2018 postseason appearance, it’s time to look forward.
If the Islanders were to hypothetically move Greiss (as long as he’s healthy) at the end of the year and go out and sign a mid-to-top tier netminder in free-agency, they could set themselves up in net for the foreseeable future.
Anton Khudobin and Antti Raanta are both unrestricted free-agents after the Stanley Cup Finals conclude in June.
By moving Greiss and adding one of these two for 75 percent of what they were paying Halak, they’d have a formidable duo in whomever they should sign, and Christopher Gibson.
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That would then take us right up to the time that either Soderstrom or Sorokin (or both, omg omg omg) would be ready to take over. And if they can’t find a good deal on a free-agent goalie, they could head into the season with Gibson playing the role that Greiss has over the last few seasons; not exactly 1b, but close.
Just spitballing. Let’s go Isles.