Goaltending hasn’t been a point of pride for the Blue Jackets this year. Steve Mason has been terrible, Mark Dekanich and Curtis Sanford have been injured, and Allen York is a year removed from college hockey. With Dekanich suffering a new injury last night in his first game back during an AHL tuneup, the Jackets are finally going to pursue more legitimate help in goal.
GM Scott Howson said today that the team will be pursuing an experienced backup goaltender and Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports that Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov is on their wish list.
It was just two nights ago that the rumor of a Nabokov-to-Columbus deal had broken that involved sending Fedor Tyutin to the Islanders as part of the deal. The rumor got along far enough that the Islanders’ broadcast crew even spoke about it on the air.
The catch with pursuing Nabokov is that he’s got a no-trade clause in his contract. Would he accept being dealt to a team that’s even more hapless than the Islanders are just to get more playing time? That’s a tough debate for him but you’d have to think that consistent playing time would trump all. Besides, he’d have a great chance to supplant Mason as the starter if given the opportunity.
If Nabokov isn’t the guy for them they could also call Florida about Scott Clemmensen or even pursue free agent Marty Turco. Turco has spending his time of late working on the NHL Network. No matter what their move is, it’s the right move for Columbus to seek out better goaltending because they need it desperately.