Some big news on the free agent goaltending front — the Islanders are reportedly working on a deal to get Jaroslav Halak out of Washington, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
The deal would give the Isles Halak’s negotiating rights and a head start on hammering out a deal, as Halak’s set to become an unrestricted free agent in July. The 28-year-old is in the last of a four-year, $15 million deal and has changed addresses frequently this season, starting with St. Louis before moving to Buffalo as part of the Ryan Miller deal, then moving from Buffalo to Washington in exchange for Michal Neuvirth.
Despite all that movement, Halak compiled a good year statistically — 29-13-10, .921 save percentage, 2.25 GAA, five shutouts — though his time as a Capital ended badly after head coach Adam Oates suggested Halak asked out of a key start against his former Blues team, which led to friction between player and club (and agent).
As for the Islanders, this move would make a lot of sense as they currently don’t have any of their three goalies — Evgeni Nabokov, Anders Nilsson or Kevin Poulin — under contract for next season. Nabokov’s time on Long Island appears over and, yesterday, reports surfaced that Nilsson was contemplating a move to play in Europe.
Update: Done deal, per the Washington Post — Halak’s rights go to the Islanders in exchange for a fourth-round pick at this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
Update 2: Sounds like negotiations have already begun…
Halak’s agent Allan Walsh and the Isles have already had a brief conversation about wanting to get a contract done. Mutual interest there..
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) May 1, 2014