New York Islanders show plan for future by waiving Jaroslav Halak 2
Dec 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) is pulled from the game in favor of goalie Jean-Francois Berube (30) during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Now that Garth Snow and the New York Islanders have officially waived Jaroslav Halak, their future plans are starting to show face. 

Jaroslav Halak was waived by the New York Islanders on December 30 at 12 p.m. ET. It took the Islanders over a year and another lost season to solve their three-goalie crisis which was as simple as discarding an unfavorable netminder. The Islanders seemingly have an answer going forward, and it all indicates at what the franchise has planned for the future.

Hero to Zero

It’s been a rough go for Jaroslav Halak. Signed in the 2014 offseason for four years at $4.5m per and hailed as the answer to a net that has been unstable since Billy Smith inhabited it, Halak was cast aside as easily as he was brought in.

Gone are the days of setting the Islanders franchise record in wins, of beating Smith’s 10 start win streak, and of worrying over if Jack Capuano was playing Halak too much. For the foreseeable future, it appears that it will be the Thomas Greiss/JF Berube era for the Islanders, as it seems it was intended to be much earlier in the season.

Despite Garth Snow’s best efforts to shop Halak earlier in the season, it seems the market for Halak was non-existent. But the answer as to why they did not waive him sooner was out of respect to Jaro. Halak had every opportunity to reclaim the starting job after coming off of a stellar World Cup performance. Unfortunately for him, inconsistency took hold.

But are the Islanders truly ready to give up on Halak?

The road-map for the future

It’s largely unclear how long Halak will be in Bridgeport for. Oh, and count on Halak reporting to the Sound Tigers.

With over half of his $4.75 million cap remaining on this season and another $5 million due for next season, it’s very clear why there were no suitors for Jaro. At face value, Halak is an overpriced, average goaltender coming off of a groin injury which has dampened his play.

For the time being, it appears Berube will have the majority of the starts going forward. The rookie goaltender must play at least 57 percent of the remaining games left or else he will become an unrestricted free agent next season vs. a restricted free agent.

It looks like the Islanders will probably assess what they have with Berube/Greiss and make a decision if the Islanders miraculously ascend to playoff contention, or wait until they are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

Halak’s fate will be known for certain in time, but until then, the Islanders appear to be ready to throw the youth movement in full throttle.

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