A long time veteran of the National Hockey League seems very happy to have left his former team behind and seems even happier to be joining his new team.
This week veteran National Hockey League goaltender Jaroslav Halak gave an interview in his native Czech and thankfully the interview has been translated for us by the interviewer into English, although admittedly it appears to be an extremely poor translation. That being said though despite the rough translation of what Halak had to say one thing is very clear based on his comments, he is very happy to be out of New York and specifically out of the New York Islanders organization and is extremely happy to be the newest member of the Boston Bruins organization.
Speaking with the Czech media regarding his time with the New York Islanders veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak expressed how bad the previous season had been for him under the Islanders organization. It's hard to blame the veteran as a lack of moves from management in net once again left them with too many goaltenders and too few spots on the roster and as a result Halak was forced to spend significant time in the American Hockey League. In spite of the rather poor assignment that he was given, especially for a goaltender of his stature, the veteran ran with it and recorded a 2.15 goals against average and a .925 save percentage in 27 AHL games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Now Halak will not be joining the Boston Bruins organization as a full time starter but instead as a backup to number one goaltender Tuukka Rask. In spite of what will be a limited role Halak seems very happy to join the Bruins organization and that may largely be due to how he feels about the team that he is coming from. Halak expressed how both the "winning types and mentality on the Bruins," were a big factor for him, and although that is not a clear shot at the Islanders it tacitly implies that the Islanders had neither of those, or at least had them in very short supply.
In fact Halak believes that after his first season with the Islanders franchise management allowed to many core players, specifically citing names like Frans Nielsen, Lubomir Visnovsky and Kyle Okposo, to walk away and failed to properly replace the losses that the roster suffered as a result of their departure. This is obviously a not so veiled shot at general manager Garth Snow and when you consider how unhappy he was about his treatment and the log jam in net on the Islanders it's no surprise that Halak wasn't very happy with Snow. In fact if anything despite his negative comments about the Islanders fans of the team will likely find themselves agreeing with him regarding the performance of Snow as Islanders' general manager.
Perhaps the most interesting detail here however is the fact that Halak is so openly signing the praises of the Bruins organization. Of course you expect a player to say good things about his new team but the Bruins were once his most bitter rivals. Halak was once a starter in Montreal and it will be very interesting to see how things play out if he gets a start in goal this season against his former team.
Photo Credit: Roland Pintilie/SCG