The agent for two New York Islanders goaltenders tweeted criticism on how the team handles their netminders.
On Saturday night, Allan Walsh pointed out how the Islanders are using a three-goaltender system for the second season and “Biggest issue is goalies don’t get enough practice time to stay sharp”
Walsh also tweeted, “Starting goalie for NY Islanders last game had only 1 quality practice in last 5 days before Penguins game. Going on 2 years of this now.”
The goaltender in the Islanders’ last game was Jaroslav Halak, who Walsh represents. Halak allowed four goals on 35 Pittsburgh shots on goal in that contest. Walsh is also the agent for J-F Berube, who is essentially New York’s third goaltender behind Halak and Thomas Greiss.
After last season, Halak called the three goaltender system “not ideal.”
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Islanders offered no official comment on Walsh’s tweets, but Friedman pointed out that the team doesn’t want to put Berube on waivers and potentially lose the 25-year-old netminder. Last season the Islanders claimed Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. Berube would have to clear waivers if he goes to the AHL.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano recently explained to Newsday why he likes the three goaltender system.
“(Getting the starters rest) is good for us. We actually like having the three goalies,” Capuano said. “It’s not an ideal situation for J-F. He obviously wants to play and he’ll get his opportunity as we go here.”
In 2015-16, the 25-year-old Berube played just 12 regular season games between the NHL and AHL. The previous year he played 52 games and 17 playoff games. in helping the Manchester Monarchs to a Calder Cup.
So far this season, New York netminders have struggled. Greiss has played three games and held a 2.71 goal-against average and .907 save percentage. Halak has a 3.04 goal-against average and .901 save percentage. The Islanders likely want to protect their goaltending depth, since an injury to a netminder can harm a season and they don’t want to lose Berube. Last year Halak was hurt in March and missed the rest of the season.
Several teams need goaltenders right now and Berube would likely get scooped up if put through waivers.
Walsh is known as one of the more outspoken agents and often isn’t afraid to voice his opinion about a topic in regards to his clients. Most recently, Walsh was in the news in regards to Jonathan Drouin’s trade request from the Tampa Bay Lightning last year.
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