Islanders sign Jaroslav Halak to four-year deal

Jaroslav Halak signed a four-year contract with the New York Islanders on Thursday. (USA Today)

Jaroslav Halak signed a four-year contract with the New York Islanders on Thursday. (USA Today)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 9:34 PM ET

The New York Islanders and goaltender Jaroslav Halak agreed to a four-year contract worth a reported $18 million on Thursday.

“I’m thrilled,” Halak told the Islanders website. “It’s a big opportunity for me. It’s a young team. There are some really good hockey players on the team and that was the biggest factor. Plus I know (defenseman) Lubomir Visnovsky. He’s a really good guy and a good friend of mine.”

The deal comes three weeks after Islanders general manager Garth Snow traded for the 29-year-old Halak’s negotiating rights.

“We’re excited to have Jaro join the organization,” Snow said. “He’s someone we targeted when the season ended and we’re happy he’s made this commitment as we continue to make our team stronger this offseason.”

Halak entered this past season as the St. Louis Blues No. 1 goalie, but was part of the package sent to the Buffalo Sabres for goaltender Ryan Miller. The Sabres then shipped Halak to Washington, where he finished the regular season. The Capitals traded the pending unrestricted free agent’s negotiating rights to the Islanders for a fourth-round pick on May 1.

Halak, whose career numbers include 144 wins, a 2.38 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage and 30 shutouts, gives the Islanders a bona-fide No. 1. He won 29 games this season.

“I’m 29 years old and I know what it takes to be a No. 1,” Halak said. “I want to prove myself to everyone that I can be a No. 1.”

Also Thursday, the Islanders informed the Sabres that the team will be keeping its 2014 first-round pick, No. 5 overall, and send its 2015 first-rounder to Buffalo to complete the deal for forward Thomas Vanek.


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