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.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.