The World Cup of Hockey could make or break the Islanders’ goaltending situation. With Frederik Andersen now hurt it looks like the starting job will be between Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss. Could this tournament force a trade before the season starts?
On Friday it was announced that Frederik Andersen had been injured in an Olympic qualifier for team Denmark. He sustained the upper-body injury after colliding with teammate Oliver Bjorkstrand and left with five minutes remaining in the third period. Although he likely won’t miss the start of the Maple Leafs’ season, he will be out for the World Cup of Hockey leaving Islanders’ goalies Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak to battle it out for the starting goaltending job.
#Leafs announce Andersen expected out 3-4 weeks after sustaining upper body injury. Season opener for TOR on Oct. 12 – 5 weeks from Wed
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 5, 2016
This will cause a very interesting situation to occur. The Islanders currently have three goalies signed to contracts and Halak has expressed his distaste for carrying three goaltenders. This poses the question of whether or not one of the Islanders’ goalies will be traded. With Greiss having a spectacular regular season and helping New York win their first playoff series in 23 years, the Islanders may be looking to run with him as the starting goalie and try and trade Halak. If this were the situation then many teams and scouts could get a first hand view of what Halak could bring to the table provided he plays well at the World Cup.
Halak has had a history of injuries since signing with the Islanders and this may be a reason why the Islanders could be looking to trade him. Also, Halak carries a $4.5 million cap hit for the next two season while Greiss’ is only $1.5 million for the next year and J.F Berube’s cap hit is $675K. Halak tallied a record of 18-13-1 last season with a 2.30 GAA and save percentage of .919%. Greiss on the other hand totaled a record of 23-11-3 with a GAA of 2.36 and save percentage of .925%. Berube only appeared in 7 games last season and would become New York’s backup if one of Halak or Greiss was traded.
Another interesting theory is if the Islanders would keep Halak and trade Greiss. Greiss set career highs in games played, wins and save percentage last season and looked incredible in the Islanders/Panthers first round series. The World Cup of Hockey begins in less than two weeks and the New York Islanders could have a different look by the time the puck drops on opening night against the New York Rangers on October 13th.
What do you think the Islanders will do? Do you think they’ll trade one of their goalies? Do you think they’ll carry three goalies for the season? Let me know your thoughts @FromTheFaceoff