24-Year-Old Struggled In 2013-14, Avoids Arbitration By Signing 2-Way Deal

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Islanders still believe in Kevin Poulin on some level.

Despite totally revamping the goaltending position during the offseason, the Isles reached an agreement with Poulin, a restricted free agent, on a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced on Thursday.

Poulin will receive $650,000 if he sticks in the NHL and $175,000 if he ends up in the AHL, SportsNet first reported. The Islanders have now come to terms with all of their restricted free agents.

The 24-year-old native of Montreal was thrust into action last season due to injuries to veteran Evgeni Nabokov and went 11-16-1 with a 3.29 goals-against average.

Though the Islanders’ team defense as a whole struggled in 2013-14, Poulin’s save percentage, always the better indicator of how good a goaltender is playing, was a disappointing .891.

The Islanders made fixing goaltender a major priority in the offseason as they first acquired from the Washington Capitals the rights to then-pending unrestricted free agent Jaroslav Halak back in May and signed him to a four-year, $18 million contract about a month later.

General manager Garth Snow then let Nabokov leave via free agency and signed a more-than-suitable backup in former Boston Bruin Chad Johnson to a two-year, $2.6 million deal.

Statistically, the Halak-Johnson combination has the potential to be one of the better tandems in the Eastern Conference, a far cry from the Nabokov-Poulin-Anders Nilsson experiment last season, which posted the worst save percentage in the NHL.

How Poulin fits in next season will almost certainly depend on the health of the Isles’ new acquisitions.

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