NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Jaroslav Halak era in Brooklyn may soon be over.
The Islanders placed the veteran goaltender on waivers on Friday, just hours after he was pulled from Thursday night’s road game against the Minnesota Wild.
Little has gone right for Halak this season. The Islanders (14-15-6) are currently well off the pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race and their goaltending has been a big reason why. Halak is just 6-8-5 with an unsightly 3.23 goals-against average and pedestrian .904 save percentage in 21 appearances.
He was lifted in the second period of the Isles’ 6-4 loss to the Wild and then reportedly didn’t make himself available to the media after the game.
“Jaro wasn’t sharp at all,” Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said. “He gave up some soft goals and we had to battle back. We did against a real good team. We needed a better effort from Jaro, quite honestly. … Four goals on 24 shots isn’t going to get it done.”
If Halak goes unclaimed the Islanders will have the option of sending him to AHL Bridgeport after 12 p.m. on Saturday or granting him his outright release.
The 31-year-old Slovakian, who shined for Team Europe during the World Cup of Hockey in September, still has one year left on the four-year, $18 million contract he signed on May 22, 2014.
Veteran Thomas Greiss, who is 8-5 with a 2.48 GAA and .922 save percentage in 14 appearances, will assume the starting role, with youngster J.F. Berube becoming the primary backup.
The Islanders’ curious decision to go with a three-goalie rotation has been a point of contention among fans and the media all season. Halak has clearly not been pleased about the idea, as evidenced by agent Allan Walsh’s social media stance on the subject back in October.
Halak, who was reportedly put on the trading block not long after Walsh’s comments, has had some moments for the Isles this season, including a 38-save effort in a 3-0 win at Washington on Dec. 1, but has allowed 23 goals in his last six appearances.
Halak is 206-123-42 with a 2.46 GAA and .916 save percentage during his 11-year career.