Latest on the Islanders, Avalanche & Oilers – December 31, 2016
What the future could hold for NY Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak, plus a trade proposal for the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers in your NHL rumor mill.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports the New York Islanders will learn later today if goaltender Jaroslav Halak gets claimed off waivers by another club or remains in the organization. Given Halak’s contract, which runs through 2017-18 at an annual cap hit of $4.5 million, it’s likely to be the latter, in which case he’s expected to be demoted to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.
General manager Garth Snow declined to speculate over Halak’s future beyond this season. Snow attempted to move the veteran goalie in the offseason but hernia surgery derailed those plans.
NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reminds us of the late-October Twitter tirade from Halak’s agent Allan Walsh that prompted Snow to inform the other 29 NHL clubs that the goaltender was available via trade. “Nothing worth strong consideration ever came across Snow’s desk.”
FANRAG SPORTS: Chris Nichols cites TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie telling Toronto’s SiriusXM NHL Network that Halak’s contract is a major trade impediment. Combined with Halak’s inconsistent play, McKenzie doubts anyone will pursue him via trade or waivers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Halak is plucked off waivers by another NHL club today. Unless the Isles are willing to pick up part of his annual cap hit, I doubt there’s a market for his services via trade before the March 1 deadline. I also don’t see his trade value improving this summer unless the Isles pick up part of his cap hit or take back another toxic contract. A buyout is possible.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: With the Colorado Avalanche in meltdown this season, David Staples wonders if the Edmonton Oilers might make Avs defenseman Tyson Barrie a trade target. He notes that Oilers coach Todd McLellan recently pointed out that his club lacks a power-play quarterback who can put up points. Staples mused about the Oilers offering up young blueliner Oscar Klefbom for Barrie.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting proposal by Barrie. He’s right when he says Oilers fans wouldn’t like parting with Klefbom. However, you’ve got to give to get.
The Avalanche need help on their blueline. Adding a more defensively responsible rearguard such as Klefbom might interest them. Barrie’s $5.5 million annual cap hit through 2019-20 is expensive for the Oilers, but only about $1.4 million more annually than Klefbom’s $4.167 million through 2022-23.
Staples is just spitballing, but his suggestion gives us some idea of what the Avs could be seeking if they were to put Barrie on the trade block.