Islanders’ Thomas Greiss expected to test free-agent market

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Philadelphia Flyers at New York Islanders
Thomas Greiss (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The writing on the wall has continuously indicated that the 2019-20 season was going to be goaltender Thomas Greiss’ final one with the New York Islanders. 

On Tuesday morning, the ink dried a little more. 

Greiss’ agent, Ray Petaku, told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic that the 34-year-old will indeed test the free-agent market this offseason. 

“At this point, I do expect he’s headed to the market,” Petaku said. “I imagine there will be plenty of action on him, too, as he’s been one of the go-to goalies the last few seasons.”

“I would also add hat he loves being a New York Islanders and if the opportunity would be there for him to continue on the Island he would consider that.”

Greiss has spent the last five seasons with the organization, developing from fringe NHL netminder to reliable backstop for one of the best defensive teams in the league — although he did play the No. 2 role more often than not over the last two seasons behind Robin Lehner and Semyon Varlamov. Regardless, he ranks fifth in franchise history in games played (179), wins (101), and save percentage (.915).

Alongside Lehner last season, he won the William Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals allowed by a netminder, going 23-14-2 with a career-best .927 save percentage and 2.28 goals-against average. 

Those contributions aside, his expired contract makes him the prime candidate to leave this offseason as prized Russian goaltending prospect Ilya Sorokin is set to finally join the Islanders more than six years after he was drafted. The 25-year-old’s impending arrival was a big reason why the Islanders signed the veteran Varlamov to a four-year deal last year in an attempt to help Sorokin assimilate to life in North America and the NHL.