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Islanders Acquire Michal Neuvirth

Islanders Acquire Michal Neuvirth

Michal NeuvirthThe New York Islanders have reached out and acquired some insurance behind Jaroslav Halak by trading for Michal Neuvirth at the deadline.

The 26 year-old Neuvirth will now join his third team in two years after spending his first six seasons in Washington with the Capitals.

Neuvirth will now get a chance to play, or at least back up, in the playoffs as the Islanders sit second-best in the Eastern Conference.

Leaving Buffalo may come as a bit of a relief for Neuvirth as he was averaging an incredible 36.6 shots against per game with the Sabres.

Despite the heavy workload, he has managed to keep his G.A.A below 3.00, sitting at 2.99 – and has maintained an above-average save percentage at .918.

Heading the other way to Buffalo is Chad Johnson and a conditional 3rd round draft pick.

Johnson will be joining his fourth team in three seasons. He struggled as the backup to Halak, and quickly fell out of favour after posting an .889 SV% and 3.08 G.A.A in 17 starts this year.

Later in the day, Neuvirth would tweet his appreciation of the opportunity that Buffalo gave him:

Sabres GM Tim Murray would outline his plans for the goaltending situation in Buffalo while speaking to the media after the deadline had passed.

They will likely call Matt Hackett up at some point. The team needs to play him in six more games to retain his rights, but for now it will be Anders Lindback and Chad Johnson.

“We have some young goalies that aren’t ready to step in next year and start. There are some potential free agents,” Murray explained.

“I’ve talked to a couple of teams about young backup/co-starters in this league this year that will maybe become available in the summer time, and it just wasn’t the right time or we couldn’t come up with the right assets to make those deals today.”

“We have a broad plan.”

Lindback’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, but Johnson still has one more season left on his deal.

Nothing is set in stone, but it’s very likely that the Sabres will be looking outside of the organization for goaltending help next season.

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer for InGoal Magazine, broadcaster for Sportsnet 650, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario with the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks on the radio and work with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade.