The New York Islanders made it official and re-assigned G Mikko Koskinen to KalPa of the SM-Liiga. The Move is actually a great one for Koskinen as he leaves the 3 headed Monster of Bridgeport and joins a team that is currently on top of the Finnish top league. This is great for the development of all three Islanders Goalie Prospects: Nilsson has clearly taken the reins as Bridgeport's starter and Kevin Poulin's need for ice time spelled trouble for Koskinen who did nothing but give the Sound Tigers a chance to win night in and out. While Mikko was 0-2-0 in his 3 games he had a 2.82 GAA and a .901 SV%, certainly respectable numbers, but at a certain point, he has to play more, moving to KalPa for the season does just that.
Mikko leaves the Sound Tigers as an after thought and goes to Finland an anointed stater as KalPa allowed their starter Ari Ahonen to move to the KHL. his Back-up will be former Odessa Jackalopes net minder Juha Toivonen.
For the last three years Mikko's had a horrible transition to the North American game by way of injuries and the Islanders obsession with keeping Three net minders at Bridgeport at all times. He came over to the Scott Munroe/Nate Lawson show that squeaked into the playoffs, then there was the net minding nightmare that was last year in which Bridgeport used 5 goalies (Koskinen, Poulin, Joel Martin, Riley Gil, Lawson; Al Montoya dressed for a game but did not play) and this year he was the third fiddle. When Healthy Mikko's a huge asset on the ice, but given the lack of playing time his value has diminished in North America.
If Koskinen plays well and KalPa wins the SM-Liiga, the Isles have a very valuable trade piece on their hands. While Koskinen only has 6 games at the NHL level to his name, he's never gotten a chance to start outright in his professional career. and since the Future in net for the Isles is Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson, they can deal Koskinen and his rights to fortify other positions (namely the defense) and provide him a chance to break in with another NHL team if he preforms.
Likewise, Mikko could just stay in Finland if he excels and we'll never hear from him again, but, color me doubtful that that'll happen. I can see the Isles trading his rights if his play is up to par with other teams expectations.
For now, everyone wins, the 3 headed goalie monster is gone at Bridgeport and they can win games and develop their 2 highly thought of net minders with valuable security abroad to make a much needed deal.
Consider me a fan of this move.