Garth Snow did not want to wait. Using the 4th-round pick he got from Chicago for Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Snow put himself perilously close to having a starting goalie for 2014-’15. Jaroslav Halak is now Islander property.
Traded for Ryan Miller, traded for Rusty Klesla, traded for a pick smelling of ill-gotten means. Oh, and the heat with then-Caps coach Adam Oates. All the man wants is a loving home and someone to tell him he’s wanted.
Money shouldn’t be an issue. For a goalie who was paid to be a #1, but platooned as a #1B/#2, he will be looking for that pure #1 salary. The responsibility which comes with that money will be the cog to any deal. Since slaying the mighty 2010 Presidents’ Trophy “Winning” Washington Capitals, Halak has averaged 47 games per year while notching at least 22 wins. His most recent stop with the Capitals (without irony, obviously) revealed he can be just as productive behind a…um…questionable defense (2.31, .930) as he can behind a Cup contender in St. Louis (2.23, .917). He can deliver…as long as there’s no Carey Price or Brian Elliot in his way.
Halak’s expiring contract carried $4.5M actual cost, and one would assume the next offer should be somewhere around $6M, compensation for both stellar numbers and mental exhaustion this past season. It is not unreasonable to expect a 5 or 6 year contract for $29-36M to be tabled.
This was NOT the script I thought I was reading. Whether or not the prognostication was legit, I had Vancouver and Winnipeg dueling for his services. The new boss in DC, I supposed, would not want this top goalie asset coming back to bite him within the conference or the division. Vancouver is overhauling and Winnipeg is impatient. Halak would’ve accomplished the same upgrade as Snow pulled off, maybe even paying a much higher price. Likely, Snow saw a team seeking a new front office and another waiting until the Draft or July 1st and took the gamble. Just like the Christian Erhoff deal, it could be pick-in/pick-out and no one has to lose sleep.
Doubt there’s room for nightmares here. A goalie who needs a home, a GM who needs a job. Wake the truck up and pay the man.