As of right now, Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube has not played a single game this season despite having a regular place on the team’s active roster.
Picked up before last season off waivers from the Kings when starter Jaroslav Halak went down with injury, Berube remained with the team as Thomas Greiss played the bulk of the games while Halak was out. He is eligible for waivers, which is why the team continues to protect him like a mother bird protects her fragile newly hatched eggs from snakes and other predators.
Berube seems like a legit super nice guy, he likes dogs, he has great hair, he has an awesome Quebecois name and hasn’t said word one about essentially being trapped in goalie limbo for over a year. He may also be a good goalie or he may not we have really no idea. At the rate the Islanders season has gone so far, he might not see a game any time soon.
He’s perfect for the NHL All Star Game.
Let’s examine the rules one-by-one:
* The 2017 NHL All-Star Fan Vote will allow fans to vote for one All-Star player from each Division, without regard to position. The top vote-getter from each Division will be named an NHL All-Star, as well as Captain of his respective team.
“Without regard to position.” Good deal. We’re off and running.
* Eligible players must be on an NHL Club's active roster as of Nov. 1. Any player not on the active roster on that date due to injury or special circumstances can be added to the ballot if / when he returns to the NHL Club's active roster.
Again, we’re all set. Berube broke camp with the Islanders back on Oct. 11th and has been on the roster the entire time.
* If a player is assigned / loaned to the American Hockey League (AHL) or any other minor league team between Nov. 1 and 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 26, the player is not eligible in All-Star balloting. However, if the minor league assignment / loan is due to conditioning reasons, the player remains eligible.
* In the event a vote leader is disqualified due to a minor league assignment or loan (or other reason) after close of the NHL All-Star Fan Vote on Jan. 2, the player with the second-most votes in that division will be named captain.
As of last week, when he addressed the media about his team’s terrible start, GM Garth Snow divulged no plans for the Islanders to curb their three-headed goaltending monster in the near future.
“It's a strength of our organization. I get [the frustration], but it's a 23-man roster. We'll carry as many goalies as we see fit.”
BTW: If he doesn’t play in the requisite 28 games this season, Berube can become an unrestricted free agent and walk away from the Islanders, making their use (or rather non-use) of him even more ridiculous.
Okay, back to the All Star Game rules:
Fans will be permitted to vote for a player from a list of all players that meet these eligibility guidelines. The list of eligible players will be updated as players are assigned to a minor league team or return from IR.
Hm. That might be a snag, considering how the NHL hates fun of any kind (see the aforementioned John Scott thing).
Still, Berube was on the roster as of Nov. 1. And unless the Islanders waive him outright or trade him, he’s as eligible as anyone.
PEOPLE OF EARTH, I IMPLORE YOU: Vote New York Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube as a captain for the 2017 NHL All Star Game. It might be the only NHL game he plays in all season.
Voting begins December 1st. Let’s make this dream a reality.
Update: Great minds and all that. Josh here had the idea first. So do it for J-F and Josh!