The Islanders had an issue coming into this season. Either keep three goalies on the roster or possibly lose Jean-Francois Berube through waivers.
They chose to keep three on the roster.
Unfortunately, keeping three goalies is just as smart as keeping four quarterbacks and you see how well that has gone for the Jets this season.
But Garth Snow wasn’t going to lose Berube, so he decided to kick the can down the road. With Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss as solid of a No. 1 and No. 1A, there may be a window to move one of them as the season progressed.
Unfortunately, two and a half weeks into the campaign, the goalie situation has come to a head. Agent Allen Walsh, who represents both Halak and Berube took to Twitter to express his displeasure, saying that his clients don’t get enough practice to stay sharp.
Starting goalie for NY Islanders last game had only 1 quality practice in last 5 days before Penguins game. Going on 2 years of this now.
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) October 29, 2016
That’s all well and good, but by forcing Snow’s hand, Walsh may have put his clients into a worse situation. Reportedly, the Islanders let the league know Halak is available.
At the beginning of the season, it’s not ideal for the Islanders to deal a goalie. If they were going to move one, then Halak is it. He is older at 31 and has a $4.5 million cap hit, while both Greiss and Berube are under rather reasonable contracts.
Also last season, Greiss proved he could handle the No. 1 goalie role with a solid playoff. Remember it was Greiss who won the first round, something an Islander netminder didn’t do since 1993.
However, Snow knows having a good goalie to trade is an asset, but at this stage of the season no one is going to offer the farm for a Halak. Unless there is a major injury on a contender where the No. 1 goalie is out of a time, the Islanders will have to either settle for a lesser package to solve the issue or keep holding with their current hand.
If Snow chooses the latter – and we think he will – then it’s up to coach Jack Capuano to make sure there’s enough practice time for all three goalies on the roster.
Again, this issue is not as easy as it seems, because you don’t want to run the team into the ground with grueling practices.
Of course, a Geno Smith situation can come about with a goalie getting injured and solve this issue, but no one wants to see that happen.
At 3-5-0 and last in the Metropolitan Division, the Islanders’ goaltending problem is just being magnified at this point. If the Isles were winning then you would shrug it off and hope a trade can be made later in the season.
But as of right now, something has to be done and soon.
Halak is reportedly on the market, let’s see if the Islanders can get something of value for him.