The solid playoff performance of Thomas Greiss has started the talk that goaltender Jaroslav Halak may be available this summer. The 31-year-old Halak was a little upset at the end of the year with the goaltending setup in Brooklyn. This talk fueled the rumor fire and speculation even more. To bring speculation up another notch, Arthur Staple of Newsday reported that Islanders General Manager Garth Snow is very high on Greiss, and suggested that he is ready to make the step up to NHL starter.
Halak has been a strong starting goalie in the NHL since his amazing run with the Montreal Canadiens in 2010. He also had a strong stint in St. Louis and Washington. Halak has proven himself as a strong starting NHL net minder, but he has been injury prone. Halak has two years remaining on his $4.5 million dollars a year contract. His contract does not have a no-trade clause. This would make things a little easier for the Islanders.
How much would Halak fetch on the trade market? I think he would be a great transition goalie for a few teams. His value may be limited a bit because he has been injury prone, and some teams may balk at his $4.5 million a year. Other teams may look at it as a value because he is only locked up for two years. Personally I look at his salary as a positive. The Islanders may also look at dealing him as a cost cutting move that will free up some space to supplement their forwards.
The Islanders have Thomas Greiss under contract through the end of next season. Jean-Francois Berube and Eamon McAdam are prospects in the system that the Islanders are high on. Berube would probably fall into the back-up role behind Greiss if this were to happen.
There are a number of teams that just might be interested in Halak. Calgary would be a good fit. He could fill the nets for two years as they prepare for prospect John Gillies. Dallas would probably be interested, but their hands are tied with the goaltender contracts they currently have. Arizona may be interested, and Edmonton may just want some insurance for Cam Talbot. Carolina may also need reinforcement in net. Calgary looks like the most likely landing spot, if this transaction came to fruition.