Latest Update (Dec. 31)
Goaltender Jaroslav Halak has cleared waivers and been assigned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL, the team announced.
Previous Reports (Dec. 30)
The Islanders placed Halak on waivers Friday afternoon, the team announced.
Halak's agent took issue with the Islanders' three-goalie situation earlier this season, and it had been reported that GM Garth Snow had been exploring the possibility of moving Halak via trade.
Thomas Greiss and J.F. Berube are now the only goalies on the Isles' roster.
"We want to give Thomas and JF an opportunity to play, get ice time," GM Garth Snow said, according to Cory Wright of NHL.com. "Obviously get a chance to get some wins that we desperately need.
Halak, 31, has a 3.23 GAA and .904 save percentage in 21 games (20 starts) this season.
He has been with the Islanders since the 2014-15 season, when his GAA was 2.43 in 59 games. In 36 games for the Islanders in 2015-16, Halak -- who had an injury-plagued year -- posted a 2.30 GAA.
"Obviously last year [Halak] got hit with the injury bug a little bit," Snow said, "but that first year he was an all-star and we're looking for him to get back to that level of play."
If Halak goes unclaimed, the Islanders will have 30 days to send him to the AHL.
Wow. Halak looked abysmal on Thursday, and it seems that was the final straw. It's Thomas Greiss' job now, and let's be honest, it probably should have been from the start of the season.
Had Jaro not gotten hot in the World Cup of Hockey, this move may have come months ago. In retrospect, it probably should have. The Isles would still have P.A. Parenteau, and Greiss may have helped the Isles steal a few more wins that Halak couldn't. That's all water under the bridge, though, and now it's time to look to the future.
Greiss will gets chance to run with this job, and Snow may look to extend his deal as he heads toward this summer's UFA status. Meanwhile, Berube will get a proper chance to develop and will likely get enough playing time to avoid becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer himself.
So with that, another Islanders goaltending era ends. And while Halak should be applauded for the great season he had in 2014-15, I can't help but just feel relieved that the long, three-goalie nightmare is finally over.