In the National Hockey League, some general managers interact more than others, especially when blockbuster trades are made throughout the years. Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli has been criticized a lot in the past seasons for his controversial trades, but one rival GM that won't be complaining is New York Islanders' Garth Snow, who managed to score big during Chiarelli's mistakes. Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome. The Griffin Reinhart for Matthew Barzal trade... do we need to say more?
The Islanders have however been criticized for ignoring their goaltending need ahead of the trade deadline, and now, have a clear mission in mind for this summer - besides re-signing superstar captain John Tavares. They need a better option in between the pipes - a better one than Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss.
Earlier this month, Kontinental Hockey League insider Aivis Kalnins reported that Finnish goalie Mikko Koskinen and the Islanders had an agreement in place so that he would sign with the Brooklyn based team on July 1st. However on Tuesday morning, Kalnins wrote on Hockey Buzz that it is not the case anymore. So what happened?
Lost in translation? Here is how Kalnins explains it this morning:
"Per multiple sources - Mikko Koskinen had misunderstood the situation. However, nothing has changed and the goalie still intends to make a move to the National Hockey League next season."
He however won't be a member of the Islanders. The 29-year-old former 31st overall pick is instead expected to sign a two-year deal with the Oilers with an averaged salary of $2.5 M per season. Sneaky move by Chiarelli!
This is quite the blow for the Islanders, but it was expected that the Oilers would look at a strong backup goalie to support Cam Talbot next season in between the pipes.
What does it mean for the Islanders? Kalnins notes that New York will have to explore different options and that newly crowned Gagarin Cup champion - Emil Garipov could be the perfect fit for them.
"His contract with AkBars ends on April 30th and after the season he had - he will be sought after by NHL teams."
The chase for Garipov won't be easy for the Islanders, as many as four teams including the New York team have expressed interest in his services, however it could be a better option after reportedly losing Koskinen to the Oilers. Garipov's asking range is expected to be slightly higher than Koskinen's but the term is what team and player will have to negotiate.
While it is mostly likely overly frustrating to lose out of Koskinen - especially when you had a deal agreed upon in the first place - the newly presented option might be what saves the Islanders in the end. Tavares would like to see that his team is serious about contending for a Stanley Cup and Garipov might be the NEW solution.
However, when it comes to Chiarelli landing Koskinen - we can say that this time around, he got the better of the Islanders!