The New York Islanders need goaltending support in 2018-19. Thomas Greiss will still be around next season, having him as a backup could return him to form.
In 2017 the New York Islanders signed goaltender Thomas Greiss to a three-year deal worth $10 million. After two years of taking over the goal for an injured and a demoted Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss deserved an increase.
And he got it. Greiss deserved it not just for taking up the job when he needed to but for performing incredibly well in that time.
In his first year with the Islanders, 2015-16, Greiss played 41 games for the Islanders with Halak sitting out due to injury. In those 41 games, Greiss had a 0.925 SV% and a 2.35GAA. Leading the Islanders to the playoffs and winning a series for the first time in 23 years.
The following year after a terrible run, Jaroslav Halak was demoted to the AHL at the end of the calendar year. Greiss once again stepped in. He averaged a .913SV% and a 2.69 GAA in 51 games played as the Isles missed the playoffs by a single point.
Greiss deserved an upgrade.
2018-19 Should Be Better
Greiss performed well when needed to, but he’s a career backup. And keeping him in that position is what will guarantee he performs well once again. That’s assuming the Islanders have the luxury of putting Greiss in that position.
With Lou Lamoriello now in the position of President of Hockey Operations for the Islanders his first priority is to identify a weakness and fix it. Goaltending is one of them.
There’s no way Greiss is going to be given the starter position in 2018-19 for the New York Islanders with the season he had last year. And that’s for the best, both for the club and for Greiss.
But with Jaroslav Halak out of contract, the Islanders don’t have a known starter in the system. Finding one is going to be tough, but that’s why they brought in Lou Lamoriello, to solve the tough issues.
All to say that Greiss isn’t going to be the guy to start 50-60 games for the New York Islanders in 2018-19. And that’s perfectly fine. Greiss has done some of his best work in relief. 2018-19 will be a continuation of that.
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I look forward to a 2018-19 Thomas Greiss that will be the stellar backup for the New York Islanders once again.