Isles find new Halak backup, ink Greiss to two-year, $3M deal (Update: Hickey deal confirmed)

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Michal Neuvirth is out, and Thomas Greiss is in.

That’s the move Isles GM Garth Snow pulled off to open free agency on Wednesday, signing former Pittsburgh goalie Thomas Greiss to a two-year, $3 million deal (per Newsday).

Griess had a somewhat forgettable stint with the Penguins last season, largely due to Marc-Andre Fleury carrying such a heavy workload. The 29-year-old started just 18 times (9-6-3, 2.59 GAA, .908 save percentage), got the mumps and played just a handful of times down the stretch.

That said, player agent Rey Petkau said Greiss was interested in returning to Pittsburgh.

“We’ve spoken and neither side has closed the door,” he explained in late May. “But we’re not actively negotiating at this time either.”

At $1.5 million per season, Greiss is an affordable and seasoned backup to Jaroslav Halak. He has 89 games of NHL experience under his belt and will look to replicate the success he had as Mike Smith’s backup in Arizona two years ago, when he went 10-8-5 with a .920 save percentage.

In another move today, the Isles also confirmed what we posted yesterday — a new three-year deal for Thomas Hickey. It’s a $6.6 million pact, with an average annual cap hit of $2.2M.