New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss is back from IR and Halak is sitting out sick. With the attention on the Isles goalies I thought, is it possible that Halak actually gets extended?
New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak is ill and will miss the game against Toronto while goaltender Thomas Greiss was inserted back in the lineup from IR. Which means we get to see more of Christopher Gibson. But it got me thinking about the Islanders goaltender situation going into 2018-19.
Halak is on the last year of a four-year $18 million contract the Islanders gave him after acquiring his rights from Washington in exchange for a fourth-round pick. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a fan that wants to keep him. For good reason, he hasn’t been good recently.
But it’s not like the Islanders have a “starter” in the system. So is it conceivable that Snow tries to keep Halak another year while an option reveals itself?
They Shouldn’t. But They Might
Going into 2018-19 the New York Islanders can certainly use the $4.5 million Halak makes on the cap to pay some of their pending free agents. They have Tavares, Nelson (sigh), Quine (sigh!), De Haan, Hickey, and Ryan Pulock to sign to new deals.
More from Eyes On Isles
- Islanders key to success: Load management with goalies
- Islanders Zdeno Chara trending in the right direction
- Islanders: Semyon Varlamov Deserves Benefit of the Doubt
- Islanders Ilya Sorokin becoming number one goalie
- Islanders Zach Parise Was Quiet in Return to Minnesota
It’s also the perfect opportunity for both camps to get a clean break. Halak, after the three goalie debacle probably likely wants to get as far away from Garth Snow and his antics as possible. And the Islanders could take the opportunity to move on from a goaltender with some baggage.
Thomas Greiss can continue in his backup capacity next season. The Islanders still have him on the books for two more years. And unless a team is willing to take a chance on him via trade, or the Isles willing to waive him, the German isn’t going anywhere.
Christopher Gibson has looked OK in his short tryout at the NHL this season. With Halak on IR, his tryout will continue. At the very least he’s an option to consider in net next season.
And then there’s Linus Soderstrom one of the two heralded Islanders goaltending prospects. We assume he’s making the jump to North American from his native Sweden next season. But who knows how he adapts to the smaller ice and the distance from his familiar setting in Sweden.
Neither of these players are defacto NHL starters. All of them could have potential, with Soderstrom’s ceiling being the highest of the three. But none are a lock 0.920SV% goaltender. And that might just be enough to scare Garth into extending Halak.
I can see Garth being tempted to go with what he knows in Jaroslav Halak and try to keep him for a year. For some reason, I can see a timeline where Halak signs a single-year $2.5 million deal because the Isles don’t have a ‘starter’ next season.
I’d rather Garth try and get an actual NHL starter in a trade. But that’s the harder option, and I just don’t see him doing that.