In September, Jaroslav Halak was considered one of the strongest goaltenders at the World Cup of Hockey as a member of the surprise of the tournament, Team Europe. Today, the New York Islanders placed the veteran goalie on waivers.
Halak’s play from the World Cup definitely did not translate into this season’s performance.
He has a 6-8-5 record, 3.23 goals-against average and .904 save percentage in 21 games. Teams will likely be reluctant to take on his $18 million contract, which has another year left at a $4.5 million cap hit.
Halak’s agent, Allan Walsh, has been very critical of the three-goalie system implemented by the Islanders, which he expressed on Twitter.
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.
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) October 29, 2016
Halak called the situation “not ideal” at the conclusion of last season.
It’s crazy how quickly things can turn in professional sports. No one expected the Islanders to be this bad. If you ask me, this team is the biggest disappointment in the NHL this season. The team is sitting in 26th place out of 30 teams just months after winning their first playoff series since 1993. There’s a lot more wrong with the New York Islanders than just Jaroslav Halak. Maybe it’s time to look at upper management.
Halak is a steady, experienced NHL netminder, though, and he should be able to find work if/after he clears waivers.
He has 206 career wins in 379 career starts with the Canadiens, Blues, Capitals and Islanders. He earned a career-high 38 wins in the Islanders’ 2014-2015 campaign, going 38-17-4 in 59 starts. But Halak has been forced to share the crease over the past two seasons. For example, he went 18-13-4 in 36 starts last season and has a 6-8-5 record in 20 starts this year. This explains why he and his agent have expressed frustration over the goalie carousel the Isles are using once again this season.
There are teams in the league in need of goaltending, however, so it’ll be interesting to see if he gets claimed.
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