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Blue Jackets will finally hunt for a new goalie; Evgeni Nabokov anyone?

Nov 12, 2011, 12:28 PM EDT

Evgeni Nabokov Getty Images

Goaltending hasn’t been a point of pride for the Blue Jackets this year. Steve Mason has been terrible, Mark Dekanich and Curtis Sanford have been injured, and Allen York is a year removed from college hockey. With Dekanich suffering a new injury last night in his first game back during an AHL tuneup, the Jackets are finally going to pursue more legitimate help in goal.

GM Scott Howson said today that the team will be pursuing an experienced backup goaltender and Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports that Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov is on their wish list.

It was just two nights ago that the rumor of a Nabokov-to-Columbus deal had broken that involved sending Fedor Tyutin to the Islanders as part of the deal. The rumor got along far enough that the Islanders’ broadcast crew even spoke about it on the air.

The catch with pursuing Nabokov is that he’s got a no-trade clause in his contract. Would he accept being dealt to a team that’s even more hapless than the Islanders are just to get more playing time? That’s a tough debate for him but you’d have to think that consistent playing time would trump all. Besides, he’d have a great chance to supplant Mason as the starter if given the opportunity.

If Nabokov isn’t the guy for them they could also call Florida about Scott Clemmensen or even pursue free agent Marty Turco. Turco has spending his time of late working on the NHL Network. No matter what their move is, it’s the right move for Columbus to seek out better goaltending because they need it desperately.

  1. killerpgh - Nov 12, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Since Nabby’s contract was tolled for last year can he be traded without clearing waivers through the other teams that put offers on him? I thought that was the case last year and thought when a contract was “tolled” everything contract wise stayed the same.

    • bcisleman - Nov 12, 2011 at 8:08 PM

      In a word, no. The Isles could not have moved him last year without putting him through waivers. This year they are free to move him to any team they wish as long as he agrees without waivers.

  2. east96st - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    “Besides, he’d have a great chance to supplant Mason as the starter if given the opportunity.”

    Seeing what an amazingly small hurdle that is to clear, it’s borderline insulting that you don’t write he’s a lock to replace Mason. At this point, anyone would be better. Really. Anyone at all. Mason is done. It is pointless to put him in gaol anymore. Whatever little confidence he had left over from last year is now completely gone. At this point, I don’t think the guy can even play a game of bubble hockey without flinching everytime a shot is taken.

    • balewsquare - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:35 PM

      I find this comment so entertaining.

  3. bigbear42 - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    The Jackets should go for Montoya instead: younger, better, and less baggage

    • bcisleman - Nov 12, 2011 at 8:11 PM

      Can’t imagine the Isles moving Montoya. Besides Nabby has shown that he can win in the past. His only issues have been in the playoffs and making the playoffs seems like quite a long shot for the Jackets at this point. It’s also possible that backing up Nabby will help Mason to regain his form.

  4. bcisleman - Nov 12, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Rumor has it that the NYI have been looking for a second round pick. Hopefully that’s not true. They need a bona fide #2 D which Steve Staios is not. I would prefer trading Nabby to the Leafs for Franson (& I’m sure Nabby would prefer that as well!!!) but Fedor Tyutin would do nicely. If nothing else, I could finally say that I was rootin’ for Tyutin!!!

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