Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Islanders Three Goalie System

I have been meaning to write a post about the crazy three goalie system the New York Islanders have been using.  They have Thomas Greiss, Jaroslav Halak and Jean Francois Berube.  This uses up three roster spots for goaltending.  That is a big cost for goalies.  The Islanders appear to have found a solution.  They have placed Jaroslav Halak on waivers.

The crazy thing about this three goalie system is the fact that Berube is involved.  He appeared in seven games last season and has appeared in parts of four games so far this season.  That is not much use for a played holding down a roster spot.  It stops any development for Berube because he is not playing.  Should Berube not appear in 28 games this season, he will be an unrestricted free agent.  Thus Berube must appear in nearly half of the remaining games this season for that to not occur.  Is there any evidence that it would make sense to play him enough for that to happen?  He is clearly the number three goalie on the Islanders.

Over the past couple of seasons, Thomas Greiss has played very well and had taken over as their number one goalie.  Jaroslav Halak has been the goalie who has played the most games for the Isles and been their number one man so far.  Halak has been a very good goalie when he is healthy.  Most recently he starred for Team Europe during the World Cup of Hockey.  However he hasn't been able to get on track in the three goalie system.  He has complained about lack of practice time as teams typically have two nets on the ice for three goalies to use.

Halak has not posted strong numbers this season.  He has a .904 saves percentage and a 3.23 saves percentage.  These numbers are better than the numbers Berube is posting, although they are well below Greiss's numbers.

On waivers, Halak is a proven goalie that a team can claim for nothing.  He has a $4.5 million salary cap hit for this year and next.  It is thought that the fact he is under contract next year might make him less likely to be claimed.  If Halak is not claimed he will be buried into the AHL.  Even in that situation it doesn't make sense to play Berube enough to keep him from unrestricted free agency.  Greiss is better by a significant margin.  It isn't clear that Berube is much of a prize to hang onto in the first place.  He has done little to prove that he belongs in the NHL.

Why have the Islanders been wasting a roster spot on Jean Francois Berube?  It has caused problems for the Islanders.  Their solution is to get rid of their most proven goalie.  This appears to be done to give a chance to a goalie who has limited value.  Even if Greiss is the best Islander's goalie and deserving of most of the remaining starts, Halak will be better as a backup than Berube.  Berube makes no sense to play on a regular basis. 

The New York Islanders have carried a silly three goalie system for the last two seasons.  There has been no benefit to it.  In order to try to end this system, the Islanders are willing to get rid of their most proven goalie.  That makes no sense.

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com