Evgeni Nabokov

Red Wings sign goalie Evgeni Nabokov and now wait out waiver process


It’s been rumored about all day, but the Red Wings made it official late tonight signing former Sharks goalie and recent KHL exile Evgeni Nabokov to a one-year contract. The Red Wings will now wait 24 hours starting at noon tomorrow to see if Nabokov clears waivers so they can retain his services. As part of the NHL CBA, any player coming from another professional league must go through waivers before joining a team.

We’ve seen the St. Louis Blues get victimized by this process twice this season in their efforts to sign Marek Svatos and Kyle Wellwood as Svatos was claimed by Nashville and Wellwood by San Jose. For Detroit, Nabokov offers a better backup goaltending option than Joey MacDonald while Chris Osgood is out until March with a sports hernia injury.

The Wings are set for a starting goalie as Jimmy Howard is the man in Detroit, but with his recent injury for a bruised knee and Osgood’s absence creating depth problems in goal the Wings have a need for insurance in goal and Nabokov, despite his stats in Russia (3.02 goals against average, .888 save percentage in 22 games), offers that.

Of course, this is all for naught if Nabokov is claimed on waivers by another team and there’s a host of teams that could use an NHL-experienced goalie on the cheap. The possibility exists out there that the Wings could cut a deal with a team near the top of the waiver claim list (which the Devils are at the top of thanks to having the NHL’s worst record) to swing a trade with them if they make a claim on Nabokov, but doing such a thing is against the rules of the NHL.

There is a chance something could be worked out after the fact, but chances are if a team is claiming Nabokov, they want him for their own purposes.

While it’s questionable what Nabokov could bring to the NHL right now given what he’s done in Russia there’s no doubt he offers a better backup option than Joey MacDonald. For Detroit, they just need a more reliable backup for the time being. If they ultimately land Nabokov, they’ll get just that.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara
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Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: