May 11, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20) makes a save in front of Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Matt Cooke (24) and New York Islanders defenseman Matt Carkner (7) during the first period of game six of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Isles Grab The Best Goalie Available – Welcome Back, Evgeni Nabokov


NHL Free Agency kicked off on Saturday afternoon. Once the clock struck 12:00 PM, the New York Islanders made the first splash of the day.

With no time to waste, the Islanders announced they had re-signed Evgeni Nabokov to a one-year deal worth $3.25M, keeping their starting goalie of the past two seasons. Typically, this was not the news many Islanders’ fans wanted to hear [at all], but pipe-dreams aside, it should have been clear that Garth Snow did what was best for the organization.

Keeping Nabokov on the Island for one more year wasn’t the ideal situation, but the Islanders tried to have it another way. The Islanders reportedly offered a package for Jonathan Bernier. When Roberto Luongo was put on the market, the Islanders gave Vancouver a way out of his contract, and when Vancouver’s thought process shifted to moving Cory Schneider, the Islanders were in on that, too. Even Ray Emery was going to be receiving an offer from the Islanders, but that became moot when it became apparent that Emery wanted to return to Philadelphia because he had enjoyed his previous time there.

When the dust settled, the Islanders’ options were limited. The UFA market was either unreasonable or unsuitable for Garth Snow’s team. The pickings were slim. Nabokov’s resume stood over every other available goaltender’s resume, and it was not even close.

So, when given the option to either downgrade or remain status quo, the Islanders chose the latter. Garth Snow chose to bring Nabokov back to the Isles for one more season, giving the younger goalies within the system more time to develop, while holding out for potentially better options next year – you know, when Ryan Miller, Jonas Hiller, Jaroslav Halak, and all those other goalies you wanted the Islanders to give up assets for now become available as unrestricted free agents.

Evgeni Nabokov isn’t the best goaltender in the NHL, and at his age, he most likely never will be. With a larger plan that involves more than just a goalie, though, Garth Snow is keeping his Islanders from falling backwards. Out of what was left in a remarkably weak free agent class, Nabokov, who went 23-11-7 last year, gives the Islanders their best opportunity to win games during the 2013-14 season..

For one more season, In Nabby We Trust.

Can you deal with Evgeni Nabokov in the Islanders’ crease for one more season?

-CT

Tags: Evgeni Nabokov New York Islanders NHL NHL Free Agency Offseason

  • FitzWilly

    I still say this guy is the future of the Islander’s

    Talent Analysis

    A huge goaltender that is technically skilled. Nilsson has good hockey smarts plays with calmness and has good mental strength. Challenges the shooters and has been very consistent during his career, rarely having bad games. Furthermore, he is athletic and quite agile.

    Welcome back Nabs :)

    • Chris Triantafilis

      Absolutely, which is all the more reason to bring back Nabby for one more season!

      • Michael Ristano

        I have a really good feeling about Nilsson as well..Hope it’s accurate!! Haha

        • Chris Triantafilis

          I still like Koskinen most, but it won’t be, at least, Brooklyn until we see him again.

  • Rich Diaz

    EVGENI!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pingback: Around The Kingdom: Daily Links 7/7/13 - Rink Royalty - A Los Angeles Kings Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More