Islanders Place Halak on Waivers

USATSI_9774833_154158418_lowresThe New York Islanders placed goalie Jaroslav Halak on waivers Friday.

General manager Garth Snow has thus signalled his intentions of moving forward with the tandem of Thomas Greiss and Jean-Francois Berube, with the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division.

“You’re always evaluating your team, it doesn’t matter what position,” Snow said. “You help the team any way you can to maybe get a boost of confidence, build some momentum and win some hockey games.”

Halak was pulled in the middle frame of Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. He allowed four goals on 24 shots, including three goals in a little over a minute. It was the third time in his past 11 starts that he’d been pulled.

“Jaro wasn’t sharp at all,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “He gave up some soft goals and we had to battle back. We did against a real good team. We needed a better effort from Jaro, quite honestly…Four goals on 24 shots isn’t going to get it done.”

In 20 starts this season, the 31-year-old is 6-8-5 with a 3.23 goals against average and a .904 save percentage. Those numbers aren’t going to be good enough for Halak, who started his tenure with the Islanders in 2014-2015 with a 38-17-4 run. In the 2015 playoffs, he played well against the Washington Capitals in a tough seven game series.

The 2015-2016 season was difficult, as Halak posted 18 wins in 36 stars and went down with a lower body injury that caused him to miss the rest of the season and the playoffs.

If Halak clears waivers, he’ll head to Bridgeport in the AHL.

It is possible that a team claims him, but the price tag isn’t cheap. Halak is owed more than half of his $4.75 million salary this season and he’ll earn another $5 million next year. If he doesn’t report to the AHL should he clear waivers, he won’t earn a dime.

The Islanders have to be hoping that they’ve found the right combination. Greiss is 8-5-0 with a .922 save percentage and a 2.48 goals against average. Berube is 0-2-0 with a 3.27 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.

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