29 March 2011
The Islanders made a smart decision in extending goal tender Al Montoya’s contract yesterday. The 26 year old Chicago native spent the previous the San Antonio Rampage, the minor league affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes, and prior to that spent three years in the New York Rangers organization.
Since joining the Islanders he has really found his own and become a solid 1A goaltender in the organization. As it stands he is 8-4-4 in 17 games with a goals against average of 2.35 and a save percentage of .923. Not to mention Montoya’s play in crucial situation, at tmes making miraculous saves.
The one year extension is a win-win for both the organization and the player. The Islanders have been known to have an unstable goaltending situation this season. During one game the Isles had to rush Joel Martin to Long Island from Bridgeport in the middle of a game. Also the team has seen injuries decimate their stock of goaltenders, which includes Nathan Lawson Kevin Poulin and, of course, Rick Dipietro.
With the signing the Islanders have ensured themselves that they have a solid 1A type goaltender heading into next season. A netminder who has proven he can step up to the challenge should Rick Dipietro go down with another injury next season. Also giving the Islanders the ability to allow rookie goaltenders, such as Kevin Poulin, the time needed to mature and grow in the AHL. With Montoya locked up for next season the Isles do not have to worry about finding a back up or 1A goalie during free agency and prevents them from having to start the season with Kevin Poulin riding the bench with team instead of getting playing time with the Sound Tigers.
For Montoya he has another year to prove himself in the NHL. He did sign a one way contract virtually guaranteeing he will start the season on the Islanders roster, if his play on the ice this season didn’t already warrant it. He will have the stability he desired and the opportunity to help make the Islanders into a playoff.
Bringing Al Montoya back was one of the best decisions the Islanders have made so far and the team has a very capable player locked up for at least another season.
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