The Islanders addressed their one big need minutes into free agency Wednesday, signing goaltender Thomas Greiss to a two-year, $3-million deal.
Greiss, 29, will join his fourth NHL team as a backup. He was 9-6-3 with a .908 save percentage and 2.59 goals-against average for the Penguins last season behind Marc-Andre Fleury. Now he will back up Jaroslav Halak.
General manager Garth Snow acted quickly on this day last year to fill the backup role, signing Chad Johnson to a two-year deal. But Johnson did not pan out as a viable alternative to Halak and was sent at the trade deadline to the Sabres for Michal Neuvirth.
Neuvirth was looking for a better opportunity and chose to test free agency, so the Islanders went quickly with Greiss, who was also on their radar last July 1.
The Isles also finalized two other deals in the opening minutes of free agency with their own players. Thomas Hickey agreed to a three-year deal worth $6.6 million, as had been reported earlier in the week.
And 2008 third-round pick Kirill Petrov, who announced last month he would be leaving the KHL to sign with the Islanders, officially agreed to a one-year, entry-level contract.