Earlier Saturday on Sportsnet.ca, Luke Fox wrote a piece looking at goalie depth around the league and how it appears, more than ever, that having options at the position is vitally important:
“Crowding your crease with a few good men was a theme that underscored 2015-16, one underscored by Pittsburgh backup Matt Murray hoisting the Stanley Cup and Montreal falling from first place to a lottery club when Carey Price went down. For the first time since 1980, all eight goalies appeared in the conference finals, Murray out-duelling Tampa backup Andrei Vasilevskiy for the Prince of Wales Trophy.”
Allan Walsh, agent for two of the three goalies currently on the New York Islanders‘ roster (Jaroslav Halak and Jean-Francois Berube), sent out two tweets Saturday night questioning why the team has chosen to run with three goalies for two years in a row now. The main concern for him, and supposedly the goalies, is the lack of practice time compared to a team that has two goalies on the roster.
The Islanders have Berube, Halak and Thomas Greiss on the roster and choose not to send one of them down (likely Berube) because he would be a prime candidate to get claimed on waivers.
The Islanders are off to a 3-5-0 start, last place in the Metropolitan Division, and Berube has not played a game yet. Greiss is 1-2-0 with a .907 save percentage, while Halak is 2-3-0 with a .901 save percentage.
Making the situation more interesting is the expansion draft coming up next summer, in which teams can protect just one goalie, and the fact Greiss and Berube both are on expiring contracts. Greiss is set to become a UFA in the summer, while the 25-year-old Berube will become an RFA.