Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Montoya inks extension with Isles
By Mike Hume
The New York Islanders continued their strategy of locking up affordable veterans who have performed well when the club announced a one-year extension for goalie Al Montoya Tuesday.
Brought in late in the season to help alleviate problems caused by a never-ending string of netminder injuries, Montoya has posted a record of 8-4-4 with a 2.35 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.
I have yet to see the dollars of the deal reported anywhere, but whatever the price you have to figure this is a smart move for Montoya to re-up now. The Islanders have been pleased with his play since he came from Phoenix and the market for goaltenders this offseason figures to be brutal, as it was last season when Jose Theodore barely signed a deal before the start of the season and a Stanley Cup winner was cut after earning a $2.75 million salary through arbitration.
For the Islanders, the motivation is a little more complex. With Rick DiPietro pretty much under contract in perpetuity and a number of young goalies in the system, including Kevin Poulin and Mikko Koskinen, the crease might be a little crowded with Montoya in the mix. But with Montoya performing better than just about any goalie the Islanders have played the past three seasons, albeit just for 17 games, could the Isles really let a (partially) proven commodity slip away?
Assuming that the money is reasonable -- and let's be honest, that's not exactly a stretch -- it seems like a no-lose situation. At best, they've found a Tim Thomas-type who's finally harnessing his full talent. At worst, the goalies will have a little more competition when training camp starts.