After two years serving as the third fiddle to Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak for the Islanders, Jean-Francois Berube departed in free agency to sign a two-year deal with the Blackhawks ... where he'll serve as the third fiddle behind Corey Crawford and Anton Forsberg. There's a chance the somewhat more experienced Berube beats out Forsberg for the backup job, but it's more likely that the 26-year-old spends most of 2017-18 as the starting goalie for AHL Rockford.
Berube agreed to terms with the Blackhawks on a two-year contract Saturday, NHL.com reports. The deal is reportedly worth $1.5 million, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports. Berube spent the 2016-17 season with the Islanders, going 3-2-2 with a 3.42 goals-against average and .889 save percentage in 14 games (seven starts).
Berube was taken by Vegas on Wednesday in addition to the Islanders' 2017 first-round pick and Mikhail Grabovski, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports. Depending on who else Vegas selects, Berube will probably either be stashed away in the minors or let go outright, considering that he appeared in just 14 contests for the Isles last season. General manager George McPhee was more likely interested in the 15th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft than in the netminder, while the Isles likely wanted Vegas to keep its hands off someone of more value. There could be more details involved in this trade, but the Golden Knights appear to have two selections in the first 15 picks of the upcoming draft.
Berube is not expected to return to the Islanders next season, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports. Berube will be a free agent as he is 25 years of age and didn't play 28 games last season. He was 3-2-2 with an .889 save percentage and 3.42 GAA this year, and with the Islanders already having both Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss under contract for next season, Berube will likely look to hook up with another organization as a backup goaltender.
Berube will start in goal Monday against the Hurricanes. Berube made six saves in relief of Thomas Greiss on Saturday and will finally get an opportunity to tend the twine in the first game of a back-to-back set Monday versus a Hurricanes club that struggles to score consistently. The matchup could make him a streamable option in leagues that allow daily lineup changes as well, as a cheap daily play.
Berube yielded one goal on 16 shots in relief of Thomas Greiss in a 5-2 defeat against the Flames on Sunday. The 25-year-old hasn't seen much action lately, and it isn't hard to see why. Although he was strong Sunday, Berube has made six appearances -- including three starts -- since the All-Star break, and during that stretch, he owns an .880 save percentage. In two of his three starts, Berube yielded at least four goals. He doesn't figure to be much of a fantasy asset because Thomas Greiss, despite his poor outing Sunday, should continue to be the man between the pipes in Brooklyn.
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