Some additions just make perfect sense and signing Jaroslav Halak would come as close to perfection as possible for the Vegas Golden Knights.
For starters, Halak is a pending UFA and, should he hit the open market, the Golden Knights won’t need to part with an asset in order to add the veteran to their roster for 2020-21.
Then there is the small matter of just how good Halak has been for the Boston Bruins over the past couple of years.
Serving as Tuukka Rask‘s backup, Halak is like a No. 2 on steroids in that he has the ability to carry a lot of the workload, thus easing the stress and pressure on the starter.
A super-backup if you like.
Just take a look at the stats. In two years with the Bruins, Halak has started 66 games for Boston including 37 starts in 2018-19.
In that span, the 34-year-old has been impressive having posted a .921 Save Percentage and a 2.36 Goals Against Average with eight shutouts.
Basically, when Rask was hurt or needed a rest, Halak stepped into the breach and performed admirably for the Bruins.
That’s why Halak would tick all the boxes for the Golden Knights and be a perfect fit in Sin City as a 1B option.
He would be an ideal insurance policy and could almost split the load with Fleury, ensuring that the latter is as fresh for the postseason as possible.
There is also another positive factor behind why going after Halak in free agency would be a home run for the Golden Knights.
With Fleury now 35 and under contract through 2021-22, the dawn of a new era between the pipes is looming ever closer for Vegas.
That is scary for the front office given that there is really no clear heir apparent currently in the farm system.
However, by signing a veteran in the ilk of Halak, it would give General Manager Kelly McCrimmon the opportunity and the breathing space to go and either draft the future franchise goalie or explore free agency.
For example, reports have suggested that Russian stud Alexei Melnichuk has narrowed his list of desired destinations in North America down to four teams, with the Golden Knights among them.
We profiled the goalie here and, say if Vegas did roll the dice by signing Melnichuk to an entry-level contract, adding Halak as a backup would allow the former the time to develop and hone his craft in the AHL while being able to learn and study from two veteran goalies who are both at the top of their game.
Overall, given that the backup job has been a bit of a poisoned chalice for the Vegas Golden Knights, going after a proven backup who plays more like a starter in Jaroslav Halak would be a smart decision.
However, there is a major caveat at play here…