In a year from now, the goaltender market could open right up for the New York Islanders to acquire a top-level shot-stopper.
With Philipp Grubauer going to the Colorado Avalanche the goaltender market immediately dried up for the New York Islanders. The Isles were in play for the Washington Capitals former backup goalie, but taking Brooks Orpik’s contract was a deal breaker.
With Thomas Greiss as the only capable NHL goalie on the roster, the Islanders needed a starter between the pipes.
The Isles would eventually land Robin Lehner in a single year $1.5 million deal. Lehner failed to receive a qualifying offer from the Buffalo Sabres after a poor 2017-18 season. The Isles were ready to take the risk for bottom dollar.
But in 2019, the Islanders might not have to take that approach. There will be a few top-level starters potentially looking for deals.
They could wait till free agency where three quality starters are slated to become unrestricted free agents. The Isles aren’t on any player’s list of must-play-for destinations, but maybe that starts to change with new management.
The Isles could also pursue a trade with a few teams that have goalie prospects craving game time that just isn’t getting it.
Or, the Islanders might have exactly what they need already in their system. Either already on the regular roster, playing in the AHL, or playing abroad.