Wilderness Walk: Ha-lak of Options Edition

Okay, just how cool is this pic?

Another goalie goes off the board...and on the floor of the NHL.

So it turns out Garth Snow did something right for a change.

Although we're still waiting for the day for when he actually stops a puck, Snow managed to get some done along the lines of it...by signing Jaroslav Halak for 4 years at 4.5m per. This is actually a great deal for a goalie that I would say is at least top 15 in the league. From what I've seen of his style, he plays a very positional game, but doesn't have the elite reflexes to consistently bail himself out when he's out of position (ex: Cam Ward, Jonathan Quick, Tuuka Rask). He won't steal many games, but he'll keep his team in games. That's huge for the Islanders, who now have a guaranteed 50-60 "winnable" games. I'm aware he has only started 50 or more games once, but this time he doesn't have a budding Carey Price or Brian Elliot nibbling at his heels.

So who's left?

The only real potential "Number 1" goalies available via free agency are Ryan Miller, Jonas Hiller, Alex Stalock, and Tomas Greiss. We all pretty much know the stories with Miller and Hiller (How awesome of a name-based tandem would that be?), but what about Stalock? He's a young goalie, who rocked a 1.87 GAA and 93.2SV% in 2014, that could probably be picked up for under 2 mil, barring a bidding war. Not only is he ONE OF US, he has shown himself to be a VERY consistent back-up beyond Antti Niemi who can still thrive with 8-12 games a year (Nabokov and Greiss, anyone?) and play a solid game when coming in cold in a relief situation. I think the kid is ready to step up as a 1B-type goaltender, but I doubt San Jose lets him go with the Antti Niemi-dilemma that is surely going to spill over.

Now about Greiss. Although Stalock does have him in just about every category (GAA, SV%, Minnesotan), Greiss was able to put up numbers much better that Backstrom's in...wait for it...Phoenix. Carrying a 2.29 GAA and 92.0SV% in front of what has to be, in my opinion, the worst PK in the league. Their PK wouldn't be a problem if they didn't happen to dress PIM-magnets like Martin Hanzal, Shane Doan, and Keith Yandle who also happen to be some of their best PKers. What I like about Greiss is that he's a bonafide reflex goalie. And by reflex goalie, I mean a goalie who will overplay the shooter, but still has the talent and agility it takes to make the save off of a pass. These are the kind of goalies that can steal games, but are also the most prone to give up soft goals.

I still lean towards Stalock, based off of sheer Minnesotan ignorance, but I still see Greiss as a solid, cheap pick-up for the Wild if Harding isn't 100% at the start of the year.

Now onto the Walk.

WILD VANEK NEWS

Thomas Vanek's Struggles Have Minnesota Wild Fan Base Doubtful

What?

Thomas Vanek panic for Montreal, Minnesota | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
WHAT?

In all seriousness, these are all I could find.

IN THE HUNT

Montreal Canadiens win Game 3, as Alex Galchenyuk scores in OT | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Best game of the 3rd round so far.

Bounces go Canadiens' way as Rangers rue missed chances | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
RUE!!!

Will Brandon Prust's late headshot on Derek Stepan lead to suspension? (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
#Cookeing

Carcillo might get automatic 10 or 20 game suspension | ProHockeyTalk
Per rules 40.2 and 40.3.

OFF THE TRAIL

Janne Makkonen's amazing 'Life and Death' will double your love of playoff hockey (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
This is an absolute, must-watch, The guy has gone above and beyond to deserve your view.

Jaroslav Halak signs, draft pick retained, Islanders had no alternatives | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
WHAT?!?!?!?

Sounds unlikely Sharks will make big splash in free agency | ProHockeyTalk
#FreeStalock

PHT Morning Skate: Penguins might target BriseBois for GM job | ProHockeyTalk
Seriously though, how many more Stanley Cup winning teams did Shero have to build to NOT get fired?

How the West Will Continue to Be Won

#EastIsTheLeast

Hockey's greatest pundit is a giant Belarusian crab | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Eat your heart out, Maggie the Monkey.

Justin Abdelkader destroys Vladimir Sobotka with brutal hit at worlds; another suspension? (VIDEO) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports

This one is definitely open for discussion.

Vigneault is Sinatra; Doughty is Lidstrom; local mayor is just like you (Puck Headlines) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
But is Lidstrom...Doughty? Exactly. #Suter4Norris

New IIHF rule proposals target goalie interference, bass drums and headlocks | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Ummm.

FOR THE KIDS

How To Tape a Hockey Stick
Learn your shit, kids.

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