Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nabbing Nabby

NHL insiders reported today that the Detroit Red Wings are close to signing Evgeni Nabokov.

In an earlier post I conveyed my thoughts on where Nabby could end up. Since then, Tampa Bay decided to trade for Dwayne Roloson instead of making a play for Nabokov. Waivers could have been the deciding factor in Steve Yzerman's decision to go with Roli and based on the recent players the St. Louis Blues have lost through the waiver process, that may have been the right play.

The challenge for Ken Holland and the Red Wings is how to structure a contract that will disuade other teams from claiming Nabokov.

If I'm a GM for another team in the Western Conference, or especially in the same division, I don't want the Wings to get Nabokov - they're already tough enough to play against.

Assuming the Wings only sign Nabby to a one year deal, Scott Howson of the Columbus Blue Jackets should place a claim on him, send the inconsistent Steve Mason to Springfield, and go with Garon as a backup. The Jackets aren't too far out of a playoff spot and having Nabokov in net plus adding a deadline aquisition could be what this team needs to become a contender. It's time for Howson to swing for the fences and get aggressive.


EDITORS NOTE: I was thinking about Steve Mason being sent down to the AHL, did some research, and realized that since he's played over 60 NHL games he is not exempt from waivers either. It would probably not be a good idea for Columbus to risk losing him - especially given Detroit's goaltending situation after this season and a motive for retaliation - to another team.
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  1. I don't see Nabokov making it to Motor City. Too many holes on teams with better waiver priority at the goalie position. While I could totally see a team giving him a shot as playoffs near, I see him being planted in a backup role. The guy was released in December from KHL, a league that has Kari Ramo looking like Dominik Hasek circa 1999. Either way, considering the available veteran talent at the goalie position, I see Nabs getting scooped by someone else via waivers. If he somehow does inf act end up in Detroit, I don't see him supplanting Howard.


  2. Nice Kari Ramo reference! Thanks for the comment!