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Isles, Halak agree on four-year, $18 million deal

The Islanders and goalie Jaroslav Halak have an agreement on a new four-year contract (McKenzie, May 22).

The deal will be worth $18 million over four years (Staple, May 22), with a $4.5 million AAV (McKenzie, May 22). Halak has the 15th-highest cap hit next season.

The Islanders acquired Halak from the Washington Capitals for a fourth round pick on May 1.

Halak was sent from St. Louis to Buffalo as part of the Ryan Miller trade and then sent from Buffalo to Washington on March 5th for Michal Neuvirth.

Halak has a record of 144-85-29 in his career and this season was 29-13-7. His career save percentage is .918 and his career GAA is 2.38. In 12 games for the Caps after his trade, Halak was 5-4-3 with a 2.31 GAA and a .930 save percentage.

Halak was a pending UFA and just finished the fourth year of a four year deal that has a cap hit of $3.75 million. Halak’s actual salary this season was $4.5 million.

Kevin Schultz

In one fell swoop, the Islanders made two major announcements for their 2014-15 campaign: that they’ll be sending their 2015 first rounder to Buffalo (keeping this year’s selection) and that they now have a functioning goaltender.

As many suspected — and Christian correctly debated  — the Islanders will indeed keep their fifth overall pick in 2014 and send their to-be-determined 2015 pick to Buffalo as penance for the Thomas Vanek trade. That only makes sense if the team is better than they were this year. And Garth Snow thinks that’ll be the case.

By signing netminder Jaroslav Halak today, the Islanders now have what should be a solid — or at the least NHL average — goaltender for the next four years. That sentence may downplay things, but this is a great thing for the Islanders.

Halak is only 29, so in or around the prime of his career, and is coming off a season with a .923 SVP for two different teams. Islanders goalies, last year, combined for an NHL-worst .894. I’ve gone through the numbers before but in theory that would have saved the Islanders 63 goals in a full year, if we assume the team’s save percentage was .923 for the entire year and not .894 (unlikely, as that’s a best case scenario but you get the point as to how much a different it could be).

There is a concern; Halak had a poor lockout shortened season with an .899 mark so .923 certainly isn’t the new normal. But given that his career mark is .918, hopefully .899 is an outlier.

So, the Islanders still need a backup goalie, as they only have one goalie signed for next year. But for now, this is great. This is excellent. This improved the teams most pressing need for next year and avoids the frightening though of resting hopes on the pads of Evgeni Nabokov or a yet-to-be-proved youngster. This is an actual bonafide NHL goaltender.

Also — interesting note is that this is basically the first big free agent the Islanders have signed in a few years. Not since… Bill Guerin? Dwayne Roloson? Mark Streit? I don’t know, but it’s certainly been a few years. Let us know your thoughts on the signing in the comments. 




453 comments
Jason Zimmermann
Jason Zimmermann

Halak CANNOT get hurt! Tavares better be 100% going into training camp, and CANNOT get hurt! Okposo has to build on last season! Bailey must have his equipment bag stolen!

dinbigd
dinbigd

Finally good solid news.

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

The following comes compliments of NY Islander statistician Eric Hornick and was posted on another message board.  The ranking is of current NHL goaltenders and is off of career statistics but includes a name on the GAA which may be swaying Garth Snow's thinking on signing a back up to Halak.  Nabokov's career SV% is .912 which puts him 8th over all in GAA ad just outside the top ten in SV%.  


Goals against average -- Halak is 5th among active players (thanks hockey-reference.com)

GAA
1. Martin Brodeur 2.239 
2. Henrik Lundqvist 2.264 
3. Jonathan Quick 2.281 
4. Antti Niemi 2.350 
==>5. Jaroslav Halak 2.377 
6. Pekka Rinne 2.393 
7. Jimmy Howard 2.415 
8. Evgeni Nabokov 2.426 
9. Niklas Backstrom 2.457 
10. Jonas Hiller 2.507 

Save percentage -- Halak is 5th among active players
Rank   Player     SV%
1.     Henrik Lundqvist .9205
2.     Tim Thomas       .9199
3.     Roberto Luongo   .9190
4.     Pekka Rinne      .9182
===>5. Jaroslav Halak   .9177
6.     Carey Price      .9168
7.     Jimmy Howard     .9165
8.     Jonas Hiller     .9164
9.     Antti Niemi      .9162
10.    Niklas Backstrom .9159

By comparison, the combined GAA of the three Isles goalies in 2013-14 was 3.00 (done the same way an individual goalie average is done) and their save percentage was .898 
If Isles goalies had matched Halak's career save percentage they would have allowed 47 fewer goals this past season; had they matched his career GAA, they would have allowed 51 fewer goals.  Had they done that, the Isles would have almost certainly been a playoff team.

Vicp73
Vicp73

After reading all the comments most of us seem satisfied with  the signing of Halak , He is a good number One goalie but for some to say that he's better than Ryan Miller is going a bit overboard

tpjm
tpjm

"Now I know I'm in a good situation, they've got a good team and they've got a great building, the Barclays Center, to be their home next year. Right now, I'm very happy.''


- Jaroslav Halak


BROOKLYN baby. BROOKLYN. Ya know he wouldn't have signed staying in nassau or at the Dumpiseum. BROOKLYN gets it done. BROOKLYN SAVES.  More than Lundqvist.


See ya there in 2015.


BROOKLYN.

ny711ot
ny711ot

Anybody watching this..oil kings!

Reinhart skates like an elephant.

He has no recovery speed if he gets beat. And he has been beat quit a bit. Plays a safe positional game but doesnt hit much...stands around a lot...mark eaton more than dion phanuef.

Anyone impressed?

Vicp73
Vicp73

A solid move we all agree but Halak alone won't be enough, IMO signing or trading for  2  veteran defenseman  and a solid Winger is vital for this team if they have any hopes off  making the playoffs. Can't sit back and expect Reinhart, Pokka and Pulock to be instant impact players next season. 

I would also feel so much better if a new coaching staff was in place.

since72
since72

I find is difficult to believe that there are serious people who do not like this signing.  All year long Snow was lambasted, and rightly so, for not addressing the position.  Now he addresses it with a proven NHL starter who will be 33 at the end of the 4 year deal and people are still not satisfied.  


Miller wasn't coming here.  Elliot signed with the Blues.  Hiller will probably be looked at by either Minnesota or Pittsburgh, so he wasn't going to be available.  Who else?  Reimer is an RFA and can walk after 1 season.  


This is not a position that we have a high prospect in the system who will be NHL ready in a year or two.  We needed THIS guy!  If anything good came out of Garth not addressing it last season, it is that we wouldn't have signed Halak now as the job would have already been taken by someone who may not be as good for the term.  This guy is good.  Anyone not happy about this needs to give it some thought.

Isleguy27
Isleguy27

I wonder if Matt Greene of the LA Kings wouldn't be the stay at home "tough" right handed defenseman that the Islanders could use. He would come with Stanley Cup experience and at 6'3"/232lbs he would be a force to contend with in front of Halak. At 31 years old, he might be the right guy to do some mentoring?

mrcisback
mrcisback

@REDSpointofview Thanks a lot Red but i'm sure someone will find something to criticize those stats. Halak is a top 10 goaltender and maybe even a top 6 to 8 in my opinion. He gives us a chance to win and thats all you can ask for.

Don22
Don22

@Vicp73 Hey Vic.  In just speaking for myself I said that Halak was a better option than Miller.  Here is why I feel that.  1.  Miller will not come here.  The Isles were on his no-trade clause and I doubt he has changed his mind.  Therefore he is removed as an "option".  2. Miller will not be growing with the team.  As this team rises, his skills will most likely decline.  Whereas I feel Halak can get better as this team gets better

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@Vicp73 definitely not a better goalie, but at the end of a 4 year deal, halak could prove to be the better option for us. who knows what miller at 38 will be like.   cant get too picky now though, im happy with halak. 

doc942
doc942

@Vicp73 I think currently, Miller as a 33 year old moving forward and Halak at 29 going forward, Halak is the better goalie.  Less miles on him as well.

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@Vicp73

You might notice from the list posted directly above that the name Ryan Miller is absent.  HIs career SV% is .9150 and career GAA 2.59.  Numbers appear to indicate Halak is the better goalie...

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@ny711ot no offense but ill take a scouts judge of reinhart over a ipb commenter who is judging him off of one period of play...everyone raves about this kid...he was apparently the top dman in camp last year so im sure he will be just fine...

mrcisback
mrcisback

@ny711ot I haven't seen Reinhart play much. Hopefully he's just tired from playing a lot of hockey. What we don't need is another defenseman who skates like he has a safe on his back.

Isleguy27
Isleguy27

@ny711ot I've seen an elephant fly (Dumbo), but never seen one on skates.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@Vicp73 Hey Vic you mean your not tired of hearing battle level. Capuano lost me with his continuos benchings of Brock Nelson. He's probably a nice guy but he's clueless.

dkdk
dkdk

Hey Vic ...l I don't know how any of that could be debated.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@Isleguy27 finally a name brought up other than niskanen! even if we cant lure greene in here, thats a replica of what we need brought in.  

Don22
Don22

@Isleguy27 That is the one guy I would love to see, but I can't see the Kings not resigning him.  He would be a great leader for the D

Don22
Don22

@mrcisback @REDSpointofview I will.  Actually, no I won't.  But I will just point out that we have to remember that he played on a Blues team that was far superior defensively.  The Isles MUST do something to get better on D.  Maybe Reinhart helps, but as we all agree- they have to bring in a steady, veteran D-man.


Not criticizing Halak at all.  We all know I support this move.  But it might be unrealistic of us to expect the same exact numbers unless our D improves. Now with that said, I do also think a better goalie helps the D improve as well.  We now have a goalie that can pick up slack on some defensive lapses.

Vicp73
Vicp73

@Don22 @Vicp73 Don totally agree Halak was a better option for us The Islanders, but my point is today Miller is without question a better goalie. I have no issues with the signing at all. Garth did his job finally. 

Vicp73
Vicp73

@doc942 @Vicp73 Doc let me ask you a question, if your going into a game 7 who would you rather have in goal? Miller or Halak? By no means am i against the signing of Halak whatsover, it's good signing and makes more sense for us. But you can't tell me Halak is a better goalie than Miller

since72
since72

@doc942 @Vicp73 Whether Miller is better than Halak is irrelevant to our situation.  Miller wasn't coming here.  Halak was the best goalie who we could expect to sign.  And by the way, if given the choice on a 4 year deal, I would take Halak because, as doc said, he has less miles on him.

Vicp73
Vicp73

@REDSpointofview I also don't see Rask, Bishop , Varlomov, Crawford ............ on that list. Does that mean Halak is better then those guys to? C'mon Red , nobody's knocking Halak, I just don't think he's better then Miller like many on here think

Vicp73
Vicp73

@REDSpointofview Wow you really didn't take into consideration that Miller played for the Sabres and Halak for the Blues? 

Don22
Don22

@mrcisback @ny711ot I don't know about that.  Towards the end of the 2nd OT I watched him skate over center ice and around 2 guys and almost get in on the goalie.  My bet is it's tired legs.  Long season and you are watching players playing almost 2 games in 1 night.

Vicp73
Vicp73

@mrcisback Never agreed with the Nelson or Grabner benchings  myself, another aspect of coaching where Cappy was completely lost . Not once did he scratch the guy who deserved it the most (Bailey)

Vicp73
Vicp73

@dkdk In addition to that dk, a number 2 goalie not named Nabby, Poulin or Nilsson is a must! If Halak goes down for any amount of time we better have a solid backup plan 

Isleguy27
Isleguy27

@Don22 @Isleguy27 Well, he will be a UFA come July 1, and the Isles should have plenty of money to spend. And we all know...money talks. I'm just not sure how tight Wang has the purse strings?

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@dzruggie @REDSpointofview

My personal opinion is, and we all know the value of personal opinions...

Snow should sign Nabokov as the back up then concentrate on two forwards.  Offer Dustin Penner and Jussi Jokinen deals.  Put Penner with Tavares and Okposo and Jokinen with Grabner and Nielsen.  Keep the #5 for dal Colle or Draistl unless Montreal decides to trade Subban.  That would change everything but that might not happen.  If the Habs do try an trade Subban, that #5 and all sorts of other stuff might have to go but Snow shoud at least be kicking the tires if such a deal materializes.  Otherwise, Bailey and McDonald become extras if Snow signs those two forwards and perhaps he can deal them and that keeps Strome with Lee and Nelson.  That's four real solid lines as Clutterbuck drops down to play with Cizikas and Martin.  

The defense is another story.  I am not so sure Snow is even looking for a defenseman as he has all those prospects ready to make the jump.  Anyway,,, I am happy that Halak is in the fold and now it's on to the next big thing.    

dzruggie
dzruggie

@REDSpointofview You know better than this guy or that guy is totally irrelvant at this point.  The guy is a proven NHL #1 and the biggest need the team had.  It is done.  Next up sign Nabby for 2 years to back up, sign the RFAs (Lee) and go into the draft looking to wheel and deal Frans and the #5 overall pick..  

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@Vicp73

Upon digging through the site I found the requirements for the standings...

  • Goals against average: Minimum 0.3125 games played per scheduled game (season), 250 games (career), 5 games (playoff year), 25 games (playoff career), or 75 games (franchise career).
  • Save percentage: Minimum 0.3125 games played per scheduled game (season), 250 games (career), 5 games (playoff year), 25 games (playoff career), 75 games (franchise career).
  • So, if that makes sense,,, perhaps that's why Rask for one is not there,,, not enough games...

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@Vicp73

I am merely re-posting something directly from Eric Hornick, the NY Islanders statistician...

shlo
shlo

@Vicp73 Now that you mention it, it is odd.

dkdk
dkdk

Since72 .... I kind of agree with you, but a starter going to backup somewhat worries me. He never has had to play once every 10 days - 2 weeks. Not sure how he can adjust to it. But whether it is him or Greiss or whomever, it can't be 25 keep your fingers crossed games like when we were using Poulin and Nilsson.

since72
since72

@dkdk Not a bad idea dk.  If he is done playing, offer him Dunham's job.  But I have a feeling that he still wants to play and will be our back up, which won't be the worst thing.  He may be very effective if limited to 25 games.

dkdk
dkdk

Yeah I really want Greiss or a Justin peters type to be the backup. I have no problem with Nabby as a goalie consultant or something like that.

Isleguy27
Isleguy27

@Vicp73 Wholly crap, did you see all those saves Tristan Jarry made???

Vicp73
Vicp73

@Isleguy27 @Vicp73 you watching the Memorial Cup game? Reinhart looks pretty good tonight halfway into the 2nd OT

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

i honestly do not know too much about him - know of him and everything but couldnt be an honest judge of his body of work. given what we've had on the blue line for the past few years though, ill take into consideration any big body that anyone recommends hah

Don22
Don22

@Isleguy27 @Don22 He may need to be careful if this pending sale is really true.  Unless they have a handshake OK from the prospective owner to sign players as they see fit, I don't know how may FAs they can possibly sign.  I guess it's a strange situation. 

dkdk
dkdk

Slapshot .... Actually there is a second reason why no one is fighting on this thread. Excitement over the goalie is number, but there is a second point that I will leave to you to figure out, like final jeopardy.

jepliberty
jepliberty

@dkdk 

Which is a bit scary, due to underacheivers in the POs like the Pens who will go out and try to shore up their problem spots, and spend the necessary cash, as they are expected to achieve and challenge for the cup every year and will give Snow his biggest challenges to acquire the assets he needs to improve this team especially if he is still on a leash when it comes to spending cash to ink those players to a contract.

dkdk
dkdk

Don .... My fingers haven't been answered by the hockey gods is a couple of decades, so maybe I'm due! Lol

Don22
Don22

@dkdk From your lips (ok, fingers typing) to the hockey gods ears.....

dkdk
dkdk

Tag l... Like you I just wish someone else was in charge of making apt hose changes

tag1
tag1

@dkdk  Exactly but now there will be changes made there so we will have to see if they will be better or worse next season.

dkdk
dkdk

Tag ... Yeah I really had CBJ taking out the pens in the opening round and I thought the rags would get by them rather easily, so I think they did better than I expected. That team is built for the regular season not the playoffs.

tag1
tag1

@dkdk  I think a lot of people felt the pens would have problems come playoff time dk including a lot of us on here.

shlo
shlo

@tag1 of course they are. Remember3 out the last four will be beaten, only one wins the cup. But they did beat some rough and tough teams along the way.

I have no doubt that the cup will be in Chicago or LA.

dkdk
dkdk

I hear that tag ..... I thought the only worthwhile team in the east was Boston so this was wide open. I would have said the pens too but I could never bank on them in a short series with flower in the cage.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

totally agree - i think the back and forth between everyone was out of frustration from everyone - finally something that can make everyone happy and look how well everyone gets along haha - but like everyone said, this cant be the end, this has to be the beginning. 

dkdk
dkdk

Slapshot, it just took mgmt to give us an inkling that were trying to improve. The crease has been a problem for years, this is a step in the right direction. Hopefully a big one. A big enough one to get people to focus on hockey while the dreaded rag shyts are in the conference finals.

tag1
tag1

@shlo  To me both the Habs and rangers are beatable and don't scare me like some of the teams out west.

shlo
shlo

@tag1 @dkdk Elite does not stay elite. Maybe the new elite is the faster team not necessarily the bigger team.

We'll have to see how LA will do.

tag1
tag1

@dkdk  It kills me to watch the Eastern Conference finals knowing that neither the habs or rangers are elite teams and that this conference was up for grabs this season and instead of going forward this season we took a step back because our GM was asleep at the wheel last off season and during this season.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@dkdk this hockey talk has been a breath of fresh air on this blog i love it haha

dkdk
dkdk

And don as a sidebar, just a point I want to throw out there since I know there were a lot of posts complaining about too much focus on the owner the other day ......

When a good hockey move is made, people talk hockey. And look not just halak. We are talking about other guys as well. My instinct says this is a harbinger of things to come when wang sells and we have a new GM and coach. Then we will talk hockey. Then we could post line combos, possible trade candidates, who is better Strome or Nelson, etc.

dkdk
dkdk

Probably Don, but there always seems to be a UFA or two that bolts right after the Cup. Ideally he would bolt to us. Out of any names thrown out he is the one I think fits best. I still think I would want Greiss as backup G too.

Don22
Don22

@dkdk Maybe the Kings can win the cup again and he decides his work there is done and off to find another challenge.  Wishful thinking I suppose.

dkdk
dkdk

Gents that is the one guy that I think would be the perfect fit here.