One of the most popular players in San Jose franchise history walked away from the game on Wednesday, as Evgeni Nabokov formally announced his retirement in an emotional presser.
Acquired by the Sharks — the team that originally drafted him in 1994 — from Tampa Bay earlier this week, Nabokov was given an appropriate sendoff given his status in the Bay Area. He emerged as one of the NHL’s top goalies while playing for San Jose during the 2000s with his best season coming in 2007-08, when he led the league with 46 wins and finished as the Vezina runner-up to Martin Brodeur.
Nabokov was also part of two of San Jose’s deepest playoff runs, helping the team get to the Western Conference Final in 2004 and 2010, and made what is arguably the greatest save in franchise history during the second round of the 2008 playoffs against Dallas:
All told, Nabokov spent 10 years in San Jose, and still remains the club’s all-time leader in games played by a goalie (430) and wins (293).