Despite their starting goalie’s concerns on the situation, the New York Islanders look to be once again carrying three goaltenders to start this season. Last July, the Islanders signed Thomas Greiss to a two-year contact to back-up Jaroslav Halak. They followed that up by claiming promising young netminder J-F Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings in early October. Because a player claimed on waivers must stay in the NHL or be put through waivers again, the Islanders kept him up. Berube played just seven games in 2015-16. Halak was hurt for extended time and only played 36 games. Backup-in-name-only Greiss made 41 appearances and lead the team through the playoffs, including their first round series win against Florida.
This summer, the Islanders extended Berube for another season. In an interview with NHL.com’s Brian Compton, head coach Jack Capuano said “whether you have eight defensemen or three goalies or 15 forwards … they’re all good players back there, all three of them can help us. We’ll see how it pans out… they’re all quality goaltenders.”
Related: Islanders’ depth chart
Here are some other snapshots from around the NHL:
- Staying with the Islanders, Compton lists finding Frans Nielsen’s replacement as one of big questions surrounding the team in training camp. There’s a handful of in-house options, including Ryan Strome. The fifth overall pick in 2011 had a successful rookie campaign in 2014-15, posting 50 points, before taking a major step backward last season with 28 points and an eight game stint in the AHL. Capuano said Strome will get a shot in the middle and that he’ll be looking “for big things from Ryan”. Strome is currently a restricted free agent.
- Despite the biggest name college free agents being signed already, there remains at least one more player who’s attracting some attention from around the NHL, according to Bob Stauffer from the Oilers Radio Network. Matthew Benning was the Bruins’ sixth round pick in 2012. He was playing in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) at the time, then went on to play one year in the USHL and then three seasons with Northeastern University. The 22-year-old right-handed defenseman posted 56 points in 110 games with Northeaster. Stauffer believes the Oilers, Kings, and Canucks all make sense as destinations for Benning: all three teams are looking to add right-handed defensemen, he’s an Edmonton-native who was drafted by current Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli, and his uncle is Canucks’ GM Jim Benning.