It has been reported that the New York Islanders have agreed to terms on a contract with goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
#Isles sign G Jaroslav Halak to 4-year, $18-million contract.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) May 22, 2014
Halak, 28, was acquired by the Islanders from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 2014 fourth round pick (which NYI received from the Chicago Blackhawks for Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard). At the time of the trade Halak was still slated to become an unrestricted free agent, but with this pact the Isles have ensured he will not reach free agency, while also securing something they have not had in a very long time; a legitimate NHL caliber goaltender. A position that has under produced for them for many years.
The signing of Halak is not the flashiest thing the Isles could have done in the offseason, (idiotic fake journalists trolling for page views would make outlandish requests for the team to sign bigger name goaltending help), but there is no denying that this move will significantly improve the team’s on ice performance. They are still a few pieces away from being a real threat in the East, but the biggest flaw in recent years has been keeping pucks out of their own net, the addition of Halak is a big step forward towards strengthening that glaring weakness.
With the addition of a new starting netminder the Isles can focus their attention on adding defensive and scoring depth when the free agency period opens. Halak’s 4 year, 18 million dollar price tag will not hamstring them from being able to make a real splash at other positions in free agency.
Halak is a veteran of eight NHL seasons, playing for three franchises, the Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals, before landing on Long Island. He has posted a career 2.38 goals against average and a .918 save percentage at the NHL level.