The New York Rangers have agreed to a contract with veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak, filling the void of backup goaltender that opened up after the club traded then-restricted free agent Alexandar Georgiev to the Colorado Avalanche. The deal is reportedly for one year and $1.55 million, per Frank Seravalli.
Hearing #NYR and Jaroslav Halak have agreed to terms on 1 year x $1.55 million deal.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 13, 2022
Halak, 37, broke into the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens way back in the 2006-07 season. He has bounced around, also playing for the St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, Boston Bruins, and, most recently last season, the Vancouver Canucks.
With the Habs, Blues, and Islanders, Halak saw significant time as a starter; he started 57 games for the Blues in 2010-11, 59 for the Islanders in 2014-15, and 54 for the Islanders again in 2017-18. He is well known among Rangers fans for pretty much owning the franchise, compiling a seemingly endless string of victories and shutouts, particularly during his Islander days. Indeed, in 35 career games against the Rangers, Halak is 24-9-1 with a save percentage of .927, a goal-against average of 2.33, and five shutouts. So the Rangers at least don’t have to worry about that next season.
For his career, Halak sports a solid save percentage of .916. Most recently, though, he has seen that number dip in limited backup duties with the Bruins and Canucks. Last season with the Canucks, he appeared in 17 games, going 4-7-2 with a goals-against average of 2.94 and a save percentage of .903. The year before with Boston, he made 19 appearances, putting up a record of 9-6-4 with a 2.53 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.
Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin will of course get the lion’s share of the starts for the Rangers (barring injury, which I’m afraid to even mention), but Halak should serve as a capable backup, especially if renowned goalie coach Benoit Allaire can help him rediscover some of his form from before the past couple of seasons.