Huge development in goal for Islanders, trade to come

GM Garth Snow has FINALLY been forced to make a move.

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The New York Islanders have announced that goaltender Thomas Greiss has been placed on injured reserve, retroactive to February 16th.

Greiss has been one half of a mostly mediocre tandem in Brooklyn this year, along with veteran netminder Jaroslav Halak. The Islanders are BARELY hanging on to a Wild Card spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference playoff race, due mostly to their league worst goals against record. If the team had some more reliable goaltending, argue Islanders fans, they’d be a serious Stanley Cup contender. 

As it is, Greiss has put up absolutely putrid numbers this season after signing a big deal the previous offseason. His 3.84 GAA and .891 save percentage is amongst the worst in the NHL.To be fair though, Halak’s 3.17 GAA and .912 save percentage isn’t much better. 

Because the Islanders have been so weak at goal this season, the team finds itself at the center of ongoing trade speculation. It’s no secret that Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland is trying to move one of his goaltenders, either Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek, but so far he’s been unsuccessful in his attempts. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reported over the weekend that Mrazaek was offered up to the Philadelphia Flyers for the low, low cost of a 3rd round pick. Flyers GM Ron Hextall declined.

Petr Mrazek is not drawing interest – he was offered to Philadelphia after the Flyers lost Brian Elliott last week (he’s out five-to-six weeks) for an asking price of a third-round pick and the Flyers declined. 

In a cruel twist of irony, the Flyers lost backup Michael Neuvirth to injury immediately following St. James’ report. With starter Brian Elliott out at least 5-6 weeks following abdominal surgery and now with Neuvirth potentially out long term, it would not be shocking to see Flyers GM Ron Hextall wade back into trade discussions with Holland. Unless Snow beats him to the punch.

With Greiss down and with the Islanders needing a fresh body between the pipes anyways, should Snow offer up a 3rd rounder for Mrazek? Better yet, how about the veteran Howard? According to a report from Dave Isaac of the Courier Post, there are other intriguing options on the trade market for the Islanders and Flyers, as well. Namely, Buffalo Sabres goalies Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson, Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Calvin Pickard, San Jose Sharks goalie Aaron Dell and Colorado Avalanche goalie Jonathan Bernier.

While it remains to be seen exactly what transpires between now and the NHL’s February 26th trade deadline, would anybody really be surprised to see Snow swing for the fences on a big deal? With Islanders captain John Tavares’ future hanging in the balance, the team is DESPERATE to make the playoffs. Imagine losing John Tavares for nothing all because of an injury to Thomas Greis… ouch.