With the waiving of Jaroslav Halak, it’s become clear that for Jack Capuano and the New York Islanders, it’s JF Berube time.
Enter JF Berube
By now the Islanders know how and why JF Berube has stuck around as long as he has. Starter Jaroslav Halak entered the 15-16 season with bruised ribs, so the Islanders needing a goalie claimed the young goaltender off waivers from the LA Kings.
After gauging the rookie’s value, the Islanders refused to let go and thus started the three goalie debacle that lasted a year and a half.
With the waiving of Halak, it was initially believed that the net was Thomas Greiss’ to lose. But it seems that it may not be as such.
UFA vs. RFA
Berube has to play 57% of #isles remaining games to remain a RFA and under team control. Greiss upcoming UFA.
— Andy Graziano (@AndyGraz_SNY) December 30, 2016
As Andy Graziano of SNY puts it simply, the Islanders must start Berube for more than half the remaining games if they are to keep him under team control.
Honestly, at this point, why not?
Despite the Islanders still being in the playoff conversation, it is very unlikely that they will actually challenge for a spot this season. Additionally, the Islanders never let go of Berube through the often criticized and flawed three-goalie system in fear he would be claimed due to his apparently sky-high potential.
There’s no other reason to not let the kid go. Snow had a variety of short-term goaltenders to choose from in the pool of UFA’s. He could have claimed Andrew Hammond from Ottawa when he hit waivers, there was an opportunity to claim Mike Condon as well, but Snow would not release Berube.
It had to be Berube.
So at this point in the season, it’s time to really see what the kid can do. If he’s as good as management has made him out to be, then perhaps he can be the 14-15 Hammond to the New York Islanders season. If not, then at this point it doesn’t look like it can hurt any more than it has.