The New York Islanders have recalled veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak from their AHL team in Bridgeport. Halak was sent down earlier this year, after struggling at the NHL level. With Jean-Francois Berube struggling, the Islanders have recalled their former starter to take over as the team’s back-up goalie.
#Isles Transaction: Jaroslav Halak has been recalled from loan (Bridgeport).
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 23, 2017
New York Islanders Recall Jaroslav Halak
The 2016-17 season has been a bumpy one for Halak. Earlier in the year, Halak’s agent noted that his client wanted to remain with the team, despite Halak being placed on the trade block. The move being a way of showing Halak that he needs to step his game up if he wished to remain with the club. Earlier this year, Halak was placed on waivers by the Isles, but was not claimed, and following that was sent to the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate- the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 21 games played with New York this season, Halak weent 6-8-5 with a goals against average of 3.23 as well as a save percentage of .904. This season, Halak became overshadowed by backup goaltender Thomas Greiss, who the team looked to to help spark some urgency in the team’s play.
In Bridgeport, Halak has been stellar. He has gone 17-7-3 with a .925 save percentage and 2.15 goals against average since his demotion. He was also a major factor in the club record 12 game winning streak in January-February. Halak was also stellar for Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey. The netminder was outstanding as they suprisingly advanced to the final against Canada. His strong play in September makes his struggles in the NHL seem even more inexplicable.
In his career, the Bratislava, Slovakia native has played in a total of 388 games, going 206-123-42. In 2014, Halak was traded to the Washington Capitals from the St. Louis Blues, and then eventually to the Islanders. A trade had been rumored for quite some time and it is about that time that it has been made.
Even with Halak back in the fold it is likely that Greiss remains the number one guy. The Islanders, fighting for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference have a tough schedule down the stretch and Halak will get some playing time. He hopes that given this new opportunity, he can get his career back on track.