Just over a year ago, Evgeni Nabokov refused to report to the New York Islanders. Today we learn from Newsday’s Arthur Staples that the veteran goalie has signed a one-year extension to stay with the team.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports Nabokov’s deal is for $2.75 million and does not include a no-movement clause.
“I’m thrilled to commit to this team for next season,” Nabokov said in a press release. “We have a great group in the locker room of young, talented players and we’re heading in the right direction. I’m excited to have the chance to help get this team back to the playoffs.”
Nabokov, 36, is 17-18-3 with a 2.56 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.
What this means for the other Isles goalies is unclear. Al Montoya can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Rick DiPietro (definitely not a pending UFA) is out for the season after having sports-hernia surgery. They’ve also got Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson waiting in the wings.
That Nabokov chose to re-up might surprise some. He’s never won a Stanley Cup and probably won’t next season if he stays with the Isles past the trade deadline. On the other hand, is there anywhere he could start with a chance to win the Cup? The Blackhawks might be interested in a veteran backup as an insurance policy for Corey Crawford, but they’re going to give Crawford every opportunity to start. Tampa Bay will likely go after a young goalie this summer. Otherwise the contenders are all set between the pipes.
Plus Nabokov seems to be happy on Long Island, and we hear happiness is important in life.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.