Thomas Greiss, former Islanders goalie, retires after 14 seasons

Former Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss is hanging up his skates for the final time in his career. 

The 37-year-old Greiss, who played five of his 14 NHL seasons with the Islanders, announced Wednesday that he was retiring.

The German netminder played for six different teams in his 368-game NHL career while recording a 2.77 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. 

He spent last season as a backup goaltender for the St. Louis Blues. 

“There have been some considerations [about playing], but the bottom line is, I looked at a few offers that didn’t really appeal to me,” Greiss told “As a result, I was ready to make the move and am looking forward to doing some new things in my life.

“Our job comes with a lot of freedom, but now I can tackle some new challenges.”

Greiss’ most memorable years came while playing for the Islanders from 2015 through 2020 as he helped lift the franchise to its first playoff series win in 23 years during the 2016 playoffs. 

Thomas Greiss
Thomas Greiss announced his retirement from the NHL.
NHLI via Getty Images

It was a gargantuan save by Greiss on an Aleksander Barkov penalty shot in overtime of Game 5 of the first round against the Florida Panthers that year that proved to be one of his most memorable moments in orange and blue.

The Islanders won that game in double overtime, setting the stage for John Tavares’ series-clinching goal in another double overtime thriller two days later in Game 6. 

Greiss is fifth on the Islanders’ list for games played by a goaltender (193), fifth in wins (101), third in save percentage (.915) and seventh in goals-against average (2.77). 

The goaltender also was part of an Islanders tandem with Robin Lehner that won the William Jennings Trophy in 2019 for allowing the fewest goals in the NHL. 

“The year with the Islanders when we won in the first playoff round and of course winning the Jennings Trophy were special years,” Greiss said of the 2018-19 season to “It was a nice place for me to play in. A good environment and I liked living there.

“That was certainly one of the highlights for me.”

Greiss did find himself in some controversy in 2017 after liking several social media posts, including one that compared former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton to Adolf Hitler.

The goaltender later apologized in a statement released through the Islanders.

In 193 games with New York, Greiss held a .915 save percentage with a 2.70 goals-against average.

He was even better in the postseason with the Islanders, attaining a .921 save percentage in 16 games.

Greiss spent five seasons with the Islanders.
Greiss spent five seasons with the Islanders.
NHLI via Getty Images

Greiss was originally selected by the San Jose Sharks in the third round of the 2004 NHL Draft, and he spent parts of four seasons with the club.

He had additional stops during his career in Phoenix, Detroit, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. 

“Athletically, it worked out best for me with the Islanders,” Greiss said. “But every place I’ve been has had great things for me. Phoenix was nice to live in or my first NHL game with the San Jose Sharks was special. California is a nice place to stay and there’s a lot to do. I took some nice trips there, for example, I went up to Lake Tahoe quite often. In Detroit, I met up again with some guys I had played with before in San Jose.

“Every stop had something good.”

Greiss did not say what he’ll do next but did tell that he plans to stay in hockey in some capacity.

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

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