What does the Evgeni Nabokov signing mean for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Unrestricted free agent goaltender Evgeni Nabokov will not being going anywhere come July 1st, 2012. The former San Jose Sharks goalie has agreed to say with the New York Islanders till the end of the 2012/12 season, with a 1 year contract extension. Nabokov will make $2.75 million next year after making 570,000 this season.

During the 2010/11 Nabokov chose to not play for the Islanders after he was claimed on waivers by New York. But I guess after a 22 game stint with St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL. It seems like Nabokov is enjoying himself some much in the New York that he is going to stick around for another season.

This native from Kamenogorsk, USSR has currently collected 17 wins this season, with a .912 save percentage and a 2.56 goal against average.

Earlier this season rumors surfaced that General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs Brian Burke has interest in Nabokov. Now that Nabokov will not become a free agent this summer. What does this mean for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Well first of all, the Maple Leafs would be missing out on Nabokov’s ability to bring his experience and leadership to the inexperience goalies of Toronto. Looking at what goalies are left on the free agent list this year. If Brian Burke wants a veteran goalie, Tomas Vokoun, Dwayne Roloson and Chris Mason are available. But if Brian Burke is looking for a goalie who is 30 years old or younger. Players such as Ray Emery, Al Montoya or Josh Harding could be an option.

There is no doubt in my mind that Brian Burke needs to ditch Jonas Gustavsson and bring in a more reliable goalie this off-season to help support James Reimer and the team in general.

Rant Sports Toronto Maple Leafs Feature Writer
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