The Islanders made a waiver claim Tuesday that will help them in the short term -- and they hope won't be necessary to help them in the long term.
The team got goaltender J-F Berube off waivers from the Kings, adding a young safeguard to a position that's been a bit of a mystery this preseason. Berube, 24, has yet to play an NHL game, but has been the Kings' top AHL goaltender, making 100 appearances over the past two seasons while helping the Manchester Monarchs to a Calder Cup.
Jaroslav Halak is the Islanders' main goaltender, but he played just 40 minutes during the preseason because of an upper-body injury and had his first full practice in two weeks Tuesday. Having missed so much prep time during camp would absolutely keep a skater out of the lineup for several days, but it remains to be seen if Halak can work himself into game shape quickly.
The Isles open their 2015-16 season Friday against Chicago at Barclays Center, then travel to Chicago to face the Blackhawks again Saturday and return home for a Monday afternoon date with the Jets.
Thomas Greiss, signed July 1 to back up Halak, has been getting the work of a No. 1 goalie in preseason. But asking him to play three in four nights to open the year seems like a stretch, so Berube may jump right in and make his NHL debut before the week is out -- likely against the defending Stanley Cup champs in their own building.
"You just prepare the way you normally would," Greiss said Sunday after the Isles' preseason finale, a 6-2 loss in Washington. "If Jaro's back, great. If not, then you have to be ready."
To complete their 23-man roster, the Islanders sent rookie goalie Stephon Williams to Bridgeport, along with two other players, Kyle Burroughs and Louis Leblanc, who had been injured for much of camp.
Eric Boulton, the veteran in camp on a tryout, remained with the team as a non-roster player Tuesday.