Monday, March 02, 2015

Neuvirth for Johnson

2015 Season Cap Hit
To Long Island POS MIN W SO P 2015 2016
Michal Neuvirth G 1,543 6 0 12 $2.5 mil UFA
To Buffalo POS MIN W SO P 2015 2016
Chad Johnson G 1,052 8 0 16 $1.3 mil $1.3 mil
2016 3rd Round Draft Pick

A deal where there are two pool players going in this deal... and in opposite directions, no less?  The New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres completed a goalie swap on Monday.  Back-up, turned starter, Michal Neuvirth, goes back into a back-up role on the island behind Jaroslav Halak, while Chad Johnson got booted off the island with a mid-round draft pick and will battle Anders Lindback for the starting job in Buffalo.

The arguments are out there that Neuvirth is the better goalie of the two and given some of the statistics out there, there is a strong case for that.  Nevertheless, Neuvirth, who belongs to Wyllie in the draft this season, gets a goalie that was in a good situation, in terms of minutes, where he'll go to a better situation, in terms of wins.  Wyllie is down in the basement and needs wins, but he also needs his players to play. Wyllie's team ranks 22nd out of 23 teams in goalie minutes and this deal won't help that cause any.

Johnson, on the other hand, will get an opportunity to play, but the Sabres are banking on his horrible numbers as the back-up on Long Island to help the team keep their 30th position in the NHL overall standings.  The Sabres have a couple of goalies now that have had some upside in their careers, but have never managed to realize it now.  Now is a good time for either or to continue down that path, not quite the time to pick up their socks and start winning games.  It just doesn't sound like a good situation for Mike, who has Johnson, trying to stay out of the basement in the pool.

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