The whole logistics of Nabokov signing on in Philly seem like a long shot. Nabokov does have a no-trade clause which, according to the report, is not an issue. But the bigger holdup would be the Flyers' always-tight cap situation. According to NHLNumbers.com, the Flyers have 16 players under contract for next season for a cap hit of $48 million, and only four of the 16 are defensemen. Nabokov's cap hit was $5.375 million last year and coming off a 44-win season where he finished 6th in the NHL in save percentage, he's going to be looking for at least that number. Another five or six million would push the Flyers awfully close to the cap. Then again, a solid netminder could be all that stands between them and another Cup run.
There's one more possible hurdle to any deal the Flyers try to make with Nabokov -- he may have a preference to stay on the West Coast. However, the report also says the easier Eastern Conference travel schedule could be a selling point.
Interesting choice of words calling a guy who has averaged 70 games each of the last three years "tender" but I digress. It seems likely that Nabokov will play the market on July 1. He'll certainly be among the most talented and most expensive goalies out there but he's probably at the top of both of those lists. There will likely be some team out there willing to pay the price.[Sharks GM Doug] Wilson on Friday spoke of "nuances" on Friday that could be troublesome. One could be this: Nabokov has played his entire career on the West Coast and may not want to play on the East Coast.
[Nabokov] played 71 games with brutal Western Conference travel last season. Travel among Eastern Conference teams is far less tiresome, which may appeal to him at his tender age of 35.