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Where will Nabokov end up?

Nov 14, 2011, 2:27 PM EDT

Evgeni Nabokov Getty Images

It seems inevitable that Evgeni Nabokov will be traded sometime during the season. He wants out. The Islanders don’t need three goalies. But where he ends up and what he’s worth remains to be seen.

There are certainly teams that could use the 36-year-old with the measly $570,000 cap hit.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are the most obvious such team, but you have to wonder if Nabokov would waive his no-trade clause to go to that disaster.

Depending on the prognosis for James Reimer, the Leafs could be interested.

Tampa Bay is another candidate given Dwayne Roloson’s shaky start and the fact he’s 42 years old, but would Nabokov be worth the price to upgrade Mathieu Garon?

Even the Blackhawks might be willing to add a veteran goalie as insurance if Corey Crawford and Ray Emery continue their mediocre play. However, that would be a move they make later, and by then Nabokov could be elsewhere.

What could Isles GM Garth Snow get in return? That’s where it gets really interesting. The goalie market is so whacky it’s hard to say. Over here you’ve got Tomas Vokoun making $1.5 million, over here you’ve got Semyon Varlamov getting dealt for a high first and second.

If goalies were cars, Nabokov could be worth anywhere from a Pontiac Aztec to a Maserati Quattroporte.

Snow isn’t about to put the “clearance” tag on Nabokov at this point in the season. If he doesn’t get a good deal now, the trade deadline should bring more opportunities. Maybe a starter gets injured. Maybe a team isn’t quite comfortable with its goaltending heading into the postseason. Nabokov has 80 playoff games under his belt.

Granted, it was his performances in the playoffs that spelled the end of his time in San Jose.

  1. bcisleman - Nov 14, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    You know that Nabby wants out, Jason? Has he or his agent spoken with you? Because he has told the press that he wants to stay with the Islanders if they need him. Unless you have a source on the “wants out” comment, its a pretty unprofessional thing to say.

    The most logical place for Nabby is Toronto. Even if Reimer returns, a contender needs a viable backup and Toronto doesn’t have one. Also, Wilson is Nabby’s former coach and Cody Franson is just collecting splinters in Toronto. He’d make a better #2 than Staios. Nabby and a pick for Franson.

    • Jason Brough - Nov 14, 2011 at 2:59 PM

  2. hystoracle - Nov 14, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Tampa is an interesting possibility.. Given the recent # of former Isles already on team.. Thompson (waivers), Roloson (trade), and Gervais (FA).

  3. finfan88shark - Nov 14, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Nabokov was exiled from San Jose because Doug Wilson needed to blame somebody for his failures, and the failures of his top players such as Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton to produce in the playoffs. Was it Nabokov’s fault that the Sharks could not score any goals against Anaheim in the playoffs? No, but he was the convenient scapegoat used by Wilson, who just won’t admit the real truth. The fact of the matter is the team cannot win in the playoffs because the teams best players Thornton and Marleau do not produce at a consistent basis during the playoffs. Yes they might have one good series, but they cannot sustain or play hard for 16 wins. Fact of the matter is Nabokov had a better GAA then a lot of Stanley Cup Winning goalies did during their playoff run. But Again Wilson would never ever blame Marleau or Thornton for the teams failure.

    And lets be honest Jason, Wilson has been making excuses for years, blaming low level 3rd and 4th line players for the teams playoff failures. Yet under Wilson each year those 3rd and 4th line players get worse, and the results remain the same. The cup is won by your top 6 players being your best top 6 players. The one constant in the Sharks playoff losses the last 5 years has been what? Marleau and Thornton. The longest tenured player Marleau, and Thornton supposedly the teams best player except of course in the playoffs.

    • Jason Brough - Nov 14, 2011 at 3:52 PM

      Completely agree. But it was still the reason Nabokov left, scapegoat or not.

  4. muttbolts - Nov 14, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    Lol.roli for nabby.

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