Veteran netminder Thomas Greiss waited out the rush of goalie signings yesterday and has been rewarded. With multiple teams in need of help in net but few strong options still available on the open market, Greiss has cashed in on deal with the Detroit Red Wings. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Greiss has agreed to a two-year, $7.2MM contract with Detroit. The Red Wings have confirmed the signing.
Greiss, 34, has been with the New York Islanders for the past five seasons, during which time he has established himself as one of the better backups in the NHL. Greiss has posted a .920 save percentage or better three times in his career, including a 2018-19 campaign in which he shared Jennings Trophy honors with Robin Lehner. While Greiss’ numbers slipped this past season, he was still a reliable backstop with a .913 save percentage and a .571 winning percentage in 28 starts.
He has also shown an ability to carry the load at times in his career and his new contract, a raise from his expired deal with the Islanders, indicates that the Red Wings believe he can challenge for the starting job. Greiss has played 41+ games in three seasons, all of which have come in the past five years with New York. Age is thus not a factor in his ability to take on a heavier load. Jonathan Bernier’s play improved significantly after a dismal start to his Red Wings tenure, but his hold on the starting job is far from secure. Greiss has had superior numbers between the two in each of the past two seasons, so if that translates to Detroit then Bernier could be in trouble. A 50/50 split is very possible, but there will be ongoing competition for even a slight lead share in net.