Evgeni Nabokov has had a very successful career in the NHL with 335 career wins and a 2.41 goals against average. There is an uncertain future for Nabokov, however, as he looks for another job after this year’s stint with the New York Islanders. He started off poorly, but turned things around during the middle part of the season and that carried into the playoffs. The problem is that he was awful in the playoffs, and now the Islanders must decide if they want him back.
I think the Islanders may be forced to bring Nabokov back because the other options out there are probably going to be out of the price range of the team. It is another no-win scenario for the team even though they could find themselves getting a full season of the good Nabokov. The Islanders have a solid offense that is going to score goals, but unless their goalie can stop enough shots, the team isn’t going to go anywhere again next season.
It leaves Nabokov as a player that could be needed now. He is going to be 38 years old by the time next season starts, but unless there is suddenly a great goalie that comes onto the market for cheap, the Islanders have no choice. They will need to stick with Nabokov and hope that Rick DiPietro can become the starting goalie again sooner rather than later. That may be another year so if it was up to me, I would just sign Nabokov to a one-year contract and see how far he can take the Islanders again next season. It is a big risk though for a player who gave up 20 goals over his final five games.