Player agent Alan Walsh, who represents New York Islanders goaltenders Jaroslav Halak and Jean-Francois Berube, took to Twitter Saturday questioning the club's wisdom in carrying three goalies this season. His comments could lead to one of his clients getting traded.
Sportsnet's Rory Boylen notes Walsh suggests the Isles netminders aren't getting sufficient practice time, adding it's the second straight year the Isles are carrying Halak, Berube and Thomas Greiss on the roster. Boylen notes that's because the club doesn't want to risk losing Berube on waivers.
Following Walsh's comments, Elliotte Friedman reports Isles GM Garth Snow informed the league Halak was available. The 32-year-old is signed through 2017-18 with an annual salary-cap hit of $4.5 million.
Newsday's Arthur Staple cites two sources claiming none of the Isles goalies requested a trade. They also confirmed Snow's email about Halak's availability, but one of them said there's been no offers for him.
Boylen observes the Los Angeles Kings are in the market for a short-term replacement for sidelined starter Jonathan Quick, but they only have around $1 million in salary-cap space. He also points out the Dallas Stars spent part of the summer trying to upgrade their goaltending, but would have to move Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi. Boylen also lists the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets as possible trade options.
For now, the Kings appear content to stick with Peter Budaj and Jeff Zatkoff as their goalie tandem in Quick's absence. Lehtonen and Niemi both carry no-trade clauses and Stars GM Jim Nill already indicated he'll see how this season pans out with the duo.
The Sharks need an experienced backup for Martin Jones, but not one carrying a $4.5 million cap hit. Though Senators backup Andrew Hammond was recently sidelined, starter Craig Anderson has returned from his recent leave of absence. Should the Jets lose confidence in their young tandem of Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson, they can simply recall former starter Ondrej Pavelec from the minors.
That leaves the Hurricanes, as Cam Ward and Eddie Lack struggled through October. With over $15 million in salary-cap space, they can afford to take on Halak's contract. However, Hurricanes GM Ron Francis hasn't indicated he's in the market for help in goal. He could give Ward and Lack another few weeks to determine if they'll snap out of their current funk.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.