No matter how many times Chicago general manager Stan Bowman says he isn’t looking for another goalie, if the Islanders were willing to trade Evgeni Nabokov, it’s hard to believe there wouldn’t be interest.
And if there isn’t, there should be.
Consider Bowman’s alternatives:
—- Stick with what he’s got and pray one of Corey Crawford or Ray Emery can pull it together in time for the playoffs.
—- Go after a guy like Ryan Miller and give up a lot (Patrick Kane?) in return.
—- Go after a guy like Nikolai Khabibulin, a 39-year-old who hasn’t even been very good since a hot start and has a year left on his contract.
Nabokov, on the other hand, would give Bowman a veteran with playoff experience that’s playing great and has an expiring contract, meaning the Blackhawks could remain committed to Crawford as their goalie of the future.
Just one problem – Garth Snow doesn’t want to trade Nabokov. The Isles’ GM thinks his team can make the playoffs, despite the fact it’s eight points back of eighth place in the Eastern Conference with just 26 games left to make up the difference.
It’s been projected that 92 points will be needed to make the playoffs in the East, meaning the Isles would have to go something like 18-8-0 to sneak in. Possible? Sure. Likely? Not at all.
Of course, Snow has to consider how trading Nabokov would look to his players and the fans. Nabokov also has a no-movement clause – never know, maybe he really likes it on Long Island.
Let’s throw it out to Isles fans – what do you think Snow should do with Nabokov? What do you think he will do?