The San Jose Sharks took the opportunity on a busy Tuesday afternoon to let goaltender Evgeni Nabokov know that he’s no longer a part of their plan. Nabokov, one of the better regular season goalies of the last decade, was informed by Sharks general manager Doug Wilson that they’re choosing to move in a different direction in goal. In 10 seasons with the Sharks Nabokov compiled a 293-215-29 record, but repeatedly faltered in the playoffs along with most of his San Jose teammates.
The 34-year old Russian will become a free agent on July 1st, and will likely command a decent amount of attention from several teams searching for help in net. Of course, there’s always the possibility that Nabokov could bolt for the KHL in Russia. Although, he has stated that his goal is still to win a Stanley Cup.
There will be a number of goaltenders on the open market come July 1st, and as David Pollak of Working the Corners has reported:
The Sharks general manager indicated he wanted to add another goalie to the organization, either through trade or a free agent signing, rather than rely entirely on younger goaltenders in the system such as Thomas Greiss or Alex Stalock. And this year, Wilson noted, there’s a generous supply of netminders in the marketplace.
Either through free agency, or via trade, the Sharks will have a new look in goal next season. The decision to let Nabokov walk away should free up some cap space for Wilson to concentrate on long-term deals for Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi, and possibly bring back UFA Patrick Marleau.