Islanders reportedly shopping Jaroslav Halak
The big story around the NHL so far has been the number of injuries to starting goaltenders – leaving a number of franchises reportedly exploring the need to pick up someone new to fill in.
Up until Saturday evening, the prime name on the market seemed to be Ondrej Pavelec of the Winnipeg Jets. The former starter was usurped over the summer by his heir apparent, Connor Hellebuyck, and backup Michael Hutchinson managed to snag the number two spot on the depth chart over the Czech netminder.
Now, though, Jaroslav Halak may be the new top candidate for acquisition.
Halak’s agent, Allan Walsh, publicly aired the netminder’s dirty laundry earlier on Saturday when he opted to complain about the three-goaltender system the New York Islanders have been employing. He took to Twitter, arguing that having three netminders up with the NHL club permanently didn’t give any of the trio enough time to practice each day.
“Hard to figure out NY Islanders using 3 goalie system for 2nd year. Biggest issue is goalies don’t get enough practice time to stay sharp,” tweeted Walsh.
“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.”
Now, there are reports that the Islanders are willing to shop Halak as a result.
For the Islanders, this isn’t dire. The team has Thomas Greiss behind Halak, who has certainly proven in the last few years that he’s capable of holding, at the very least, a 1A role for a good NHL club. The Islanders could certainly remain competitive with him as their number one.
For the other teams in the league, though, this could be a game changer.
It, of course, depends on what kind of deal the Islanders are willing to work with. If they’re unbending on any kind of retained salary, most of the clubs needing help in net – most notably the Los Angeles Kings and potentially the Anaheim Ducks – don’t have the kind of cap space available to add Halak at cost.
If the Islanders don’t want a tense relationship enough that they’re willing to hold onto some salary in a deal, though, that could certainly change things.