NEW YORK -- Goaltending has always been a hot-button issue for the New York Islanders, but heading into the 2014-15 season, they seem to have the position solidified with a pair of offseason moves to address what has long been the club's Achilles' heel.
General manager Garth Snow traded in April for the rights to impending unrestricted free agent netminder Jaroslav Halak -- a gamble that paid dividends when the 29-year-old inked a four-year deal worth $18 million with the Islanders.
"Since I've been there, goaltending has always been up in the air. There's always been a lot of competition, but this year it's kind of set before camp even starts. That's something that hasn't happened," Islanders center John Tavares told ESPN.com. "Having a guy like Jaro, who's proven but still young, in the prime of his career and has a lot of experience -- whether it's playoffs or playing on some great teams with great seasons -- he's a very consistent goalie. He played a lot of minutes, he can handle a lot of work."
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Snow further bolstered the Islanders' depth between the pipes by adding backup Chad Johnson in free agency. Johnson had a strong 2013-14 season behind Tuukka Rask in Boston, posting an impressive 17-4-3 record with a .925 save percentage and 2.10 goals-against average.
"Johnson's been a really quality backup for quite some time and had a really good year last year," Tavares said. "Those two guys, to go into camp with those two goaltenders that are set and ready to go, it definitely will be a change for us and will be a good thing."
Fortifying the team from the net out should give the Islanders stability and added confidence as they try to get back to the postseason in their final year at Nassau Coliseum.
Said winger Kyle Okposo, who had a career-high 27 goals last season: "We want to give the fans the proper send-off and have the best season possible."