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Report: Islanders haven’t discussed deal with Nabokov in a month

May 16, 2013, 12:18 AM EDT

nabokovcrosbygetty Getty Images

The New York Islanders seemed to argue that they’ll be heard from again despite losing their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but that doesn’t mean that the same cast of characters will be back.

While captain Mark Streit might be the biggest offseason question mark, the Islanders face a murky situation in net, as well.

The New York Post reports that the team last spoke to Evgeni Nabokov about a new contract about four weeks ago. The veteran netminder stated that he’d like to return to the team during his exit interview, for one thing.

“I think Garth will make his decision,” Nabokov said. “I told him I would like to stay, but we were fighting for the playoffs and nothing was going on. Now we have to see.”

On one hand, Nabokov was a workhorse goalie for the Isles in 2013. He played in 41 out of the team’s 48 regular season games, going 23-11-7 with a .910 save percentage and 2.50 GAA. Kevin Poulin was the only other netminder to register a win for the team in 2013 (1-3-0 in the regular season).

Still, Nabokov is 37 and had a rough series against the Penguins, sporting a putrid .842 save percentage and 4.44 GAA. While a small sample size of games against a high-powered offense isn’t a fair barometer for what he can do, he isn’t getting any younger and didn’t put up all-world stats in the regular season.

Ultimately, it all comes down to which direction GM Garth Snow wants to go in and what Nabokov demands.

  1. canucks30 - May 16, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Luongo?

    • phillyphanatic77 - May 16, 2013 at 3:55 AM

      Man you’re shopping Luongo harder than Gillis.

  2. kappy32 - May 16, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Mike Smith, please. He’s a younger Nabakov (5 years), but has shown playoff dominance. The Isles have a very low cap number & having Smith in goal heading to Brooklyn could be very attractive to the fanbase.

  3. canucks30 - May 16, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Personally I think Mike Smith success is a byproduct of Dave Tippett’s defensive system and the style of play Phoenix employs. Much like Ilya Bryzgalov.

    I think of you take him out of Phoenix he turns back into the Mike Smith we saw in Dallas and Tampa Bay

  4. imacdane - May 16, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    They still found a way to work Crosby into this. It wouldn’t be a PHT article any other way.

    • hockeyflow33 - May 16, 2013 at 2:22 AM

      Where? I didn’t see his name until you posted it.

      Stop being so insecure.

      • jcr96 - May 16, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        They chose a picture of Crosby with Nabokov in the background…you’re telling me there are no other pictures of Nabokov in existence? The only one they could find was this one? LOL When I first saw this I thought they had put a picture of Crosby in by mistake!

      • imacdane - May 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        It was a joke, but check the picture of the article you idiot.

  5. jimw81 - May 16, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    People actually believe that Wang is going to spend money to keep that team together? There will be alot of teams like the flyers that will over pay for Mark Streit.

    • freneticgarfieldfan - May 16, 2013 at 3:31 AM

      Streit deserves a (last) big contract. The Isles got a bargain last time, compared to a Brian Campbell for example (Streit and Campbell went UFA the same summer).

  6. bcisleman - May 16, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Must give thought to Nabby’s influence on the Room. By all accounts, he has been a real difference maker. He was overused this year, especially down the stretch. Bring in a young 1A like Khudobin and Nabby will be fine.

  7. 19to77 - May 16, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    Halak’s almost certainly done with the Blues. One year left on his contract, his GM has said he wants to build through some trades. NYI’s flush with forward prospects and St. Louis needs to find some more firepower. A deal is in there somewhere.

  8. rushledger - May 16, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    Mike smith I hope will stay in Phoenix, Nabokov has earned his keep on the island but luongo should be considered that be a solid one two punch. They are likely not to have both though, maybe if they keep Nabokov he goes to Vancouver? Not that far fetched.

  9. cliffneill55 - May 16, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    I wouldn’t mind Smith. My first option would be Jonathan Bernier from Los Angeles. He’s 24, a stud goalie, and the only reason he’s not a starter is because Jonathan Quick is in in front of him. He’d be the perfect fit for this young, up-and-coming team. I understand he’s a restricted free agent and this complicates matters. That’s why I suggest trading Nino Niederriter, a defensive prospect such as Calvin deHaan, and their choice of one of the 3 goalie prospects, Anders Nilsson, Kevin Poulin, or Mikko Koskinen for Bernier. Maybe their 1st round draft pick needs to be included instead of the goalie. If not deHaan another D-man prospect. Nino seems to be persona no grata around the organization after his trade demand after not being brought up from the AHL this season.But he has a lot of value, especially with his performance in the World Championships for Switzerland. The one thing I would do though is keep Nabokov as a backup to either Bernier or Smith. Sign Nabby to a 2 year deal. He can be a mentor to Bernier and a good insurance policy if soemthing goes wrong. Plus you could play him more than another backup and not throw Bernier to the dogs with 60 to 70 starts in an 82 game season. I think 45-50 game starts would be a good number tht first year and Nabokov could handle the rest. He would be a much more important player in that role with the Islanders than as a backup anywhere else. The only way he gets to start somewhere else is injury to the starter or on a really bad team. Maybe if he’s lucky as a backup on another team he plays 20-25 games tops. At 38 Nabokov needs to look at his life after hockey and a selfless move like that could springboard him to another position in the Isles organization or for another team.

  10. ironyisadeadscene - May 16, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Why is no one talking about the possibility of convincing Tim Thomas to play for a year or two while they bring along a young goalie prospect?

    • islesjb - May 16, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      Because he will be 40 years old next year and will be one season removed from playing hockey. The Isles need a young franchise goalie. Nabby can bring along a young goalie just as well as Thomas can and has shown that he still wants to play. Thomas has shown no indication that he has any interest in coming back. If he does, I hope it is for another team.

      Thomas would be nothing but a locker room distraction whereas Nabby has shown that he is a locker room leader. I hope he’s back in a backup/mentorship role.

  11. garyreasons55 - May 16, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I think the chances of the Islanders going out and making a sexy move are very low. That’s now how Garth Snow operates. Plus, in case you haven’t noticed, Charles Wang aka Scrooge McDuck is not going to spend on a big time goalie. My personal opinion is that they’ll resign Nabby and bring in a “Vokoun type” veteran to push him. I wouldn’t count out Dipietro back up next year although that would be terrible. Nabby played well enough during the season to earn another year. We all know he sucks in the playoffs and always has so you need a backup plan.

    The ideal situation for me would be to trade a couple of our prospects for Bernier. The Isles have some young guys that can’t be kept in the minors anymore and their isn’t room for them on the big squad. Why not turn them into a quality young goalie like Bernier? I hope Garth thinks like I do.

    • islesjb - May 16, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      I could see Wang opening up the wallet after next season to get the fans riled up for the move to Brooklyn. The core will be a little more mature and ready to make a serious cup run.

      Also, they have the prospects right now to make some serious trades.

  12. multiplemiggs - May 16, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    you stick up for nabby after knocking him all season and made fun of me for sticking up for him… you’re all hypocrits

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