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Isles looking to make trade for veteran goaltender

General Manager Garth Snow speaks at a press

General Manager Garth Snow speaks at a press conference on at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. (August 13, 2008) Credit: Getty Images

 During the second period of last night's 5-3 loss to Toronto, Islanders GM Garth Snow confirmed to Newsday via text that he was trying to bring a veteran goaltender to Long Island.

As of 1 p.m. today, Snow said he was still working on a trade that could make that happen. The Islanders are in dire need of some stable goaltending with the recent loss of  20-year-old rookie goaltender Kevin Poulin.

Poulin went down in a freak accident during warmups last night and is out for the rest of the season with a dislocated left knee cap that will require surgery.

Snow will try to target a goaltender with NHL experience that is 3rd on the depth chart somewhere and/or playing in the AHL right now. However, Snow is not willing to give up a top prospect, so if he cannot make a deal come to fruition sooner than later, he'll ride out Mikko Koskinen until Nathan Lawson  is ready to return.

Lawson, who is close to returning from an MCL strain in his left knee, practiced fully again today and is within a week of being ready to play. 

22-year-old Koskinen, who made his unexpected NHL debut last night, will start tomorrow against Montreal at the Bell Centre. Joel Martin will back him up.

The Islanders claimed veteran goaltender Evgeni Nabokov off waivers in recent weeks, but the 35-year old Russian netminder refused to report. The Islanders still have him under contract, but Snow declined to comment whether he has reached out to him recently in another attempt to change his mind.

After Nabokov's refusal to report and subsequent suspension, the Islanders passed on Lightning goaltender Mike Smith, placed on waivers less than a week ago. According to one source, the Islanders are still not interested in him.

Michael Leighton could be a more attractive option, although he would have to clear re-entry waivers before being traded.

Leighton was waived by Philadelphia last month and has played 12 games since for the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League.

Jonas Gustavsson*** is also a possibility. With James Reimer and Jean-Sebastien Giguere playing for the Leafs, Gustavsson was sent to the Marlies for a two-week conditioning stint.

***Gustavsson was reportedly pulled early in the Marlies game due to an "elevated heart rate."


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