After 14 seasons in the NHL with six different franchises, former NY Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss has strapped on his gear for the final time. Greiss, 37, told NHL.com German correspondent Stefan Herget that he would not be signing with another team this off-season, calling it a career.
Drafted in the third round of the 2004 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks, Greiss spent four seasons in the Bay Area before short, one-season stops in Phoenix and Pittsburgh prior to joining the Islanders in 2015. In his first year with the team, Greiss appeared in 41 regular season games, earning him the starting role in the playoffs, while Jaroslav Halak was injured. A John Tavares goal in overtime of game six of the first round against the Florida Panthers gave the Islanders their first playoff series victory since 1993, making Greiss the first Islander netminder to earn a win in a series-clinching game since Glenn Healy.
During his final season with the Isles, Greiss was called upon in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Toronto bubble. After squandering a three-games-to-one lead, Head Coach Barry Trotz turned to Greiss over starter Semyon Varlamov for the series' final game. Greiss pitched a shutout in just this third start of the playoffs, sending the Isles to their first Conference Finals in 27 years.
In 2019, Greiss, and Robin Lehner, earned the William M. Jennings Trophy as the tandem to allow the fewest goals in the regular season. It was only the second Jennings Trophy in Islanders history and the first since 1983 when Billy Smith and Roland Melanson were presented the arward.
Though Greiss played for six different teams during his career, he had his most success while playing on Long Island.
"Athletically, it worked out best for me with the Islanders," Greiss told Hergert. "But every place I've been has had great things for me. Phoenix was nice to live in or my first NHL game with the San Jose Sharks was special. California is a nice place to stay and there's a lot to do. I took some nice trips there, for example, I went up to Lake Tahoe quite often. In Detroit, I met up again with some guys I had played with before in San Jose. Every stop had something good."
During Greiss' five seasons with the Islanders, he and his wife Brittany became engrained in the Long Island community. Though Greiss spent most of his career as a backup, he was beloved during his time with the Islanders, helping provide some of the organization's greatest moments in recent memory.