Evgeni Nabokov

Where will Nabokov end up?


It seems inevitable that Evgeni Nabokov will be traded sometime during the season. He wants out. The Islanders don’t need three goalies. But where he ends up and what he’s worth remains to be seen.

There are certainly teams that could use the 36-year-old with the measly $570,000 cap hit.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are the most obvious such team, but you have to wonder if Nabokov would waive his no-trade clause to go to that disaster.

Depending on the prognosis for James Reimer, the Leafs could be interested.

Tampa Bay is another candidate given Dwayne Roloson’s shaky start and the fact he’s 42 years old, but would Nabokov be worth the price to upgrade Mathieu Garon?

Even the Blackhawks might be willing to add a veteran goalie as insurance if Corey Crawford and Ray Emery continue their mediocre play. However, that would be a move they make later, and by then Nabokov could be elsewhere.

What could Isles GM Garth Snow get in return? That’s where it gets really interesting. The goalie market is so whacky it’s hard to say. Over here you’ve got Tomas Vokoun making $1.5 million, over here you’ve got Semyon Varlamov getting dealt for a high first and second.

If goalies were cars, Nabokov could be worth anywhere from a Pontiac Aztec to a Maserati Quattroporte.

Snow isn’t about to put the “clearance” tag on Nabokov at this point in the season. If he doesn’t get a good deal now, the trade deadline should bring more opportunities. Maybe a starter gets injured. Maybe a team isn’t quite comfortable with its goaltending heading into the postseason. Nabokov has 80 playoff games under his belt.

Granted, it was his performances in the playoffs that spelled the end of his time in San Jose.

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning

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Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.

Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

Peter Chiarelli

It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

You can see and hear his full comments below:

If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.

Slump busters: Simmonds, Couturier end long scoring droughts in win over Rangers


It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.

The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.

It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.

Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.

Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.

Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.

The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:

The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.

Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.

The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.