The New York Islanders' goaltending situation this past season was, how do you say, not very good. As 38-year Evgeni Nabokov battled injuries that limited him to 39 starts, the team's fortunes rested in the hands of two kids: Anders Nilsson and Kevin Poulin.
You can guess how well that went with the news Thursday that the Islanders acquired Jaroslav Halak from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 2014 fourth-round pick. That pick was the one they received in a February trade with the Chicago Blackhawks that moved out Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
The 28-year old Halak began the season in St. Louis before being dealt to Buffalo, then Washington at the trade deadline. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, unless he decides to take the no. 1 job on Long Island. His agent is already telling media there is "interest" in staying.
Halak made $4.5 million in salary this past season and with the Islanders typically spending just above the salary cap floor, there's room for general manager Garth Snow to entice him to stay. With $42 million currently committed to 21 players for 2014-15, according to CapGeek, a big gaping issue can be fixed if the check owner Charles Wang writes is big enough.
It's not the greatest market this summer for UFA goalies, so it's a smart attempt by Snow to get a head start on filling a need heading into the draft and free agency. And if he fails? Well, there's always Jonas Hiller and RFA James Reimer, who will both likely be changing teams in the next few months.
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