Evgeni Nabokov's Turn Through Waivers Could Be Interesting
As noted Thursday, veteran goalie Evgeni Nabokov appears to be on the verge of a contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
Because he went to Europe to start this season, Nabokov's return to the NHL will not just happen. Instead, he has to pass through waivers before he can join the Wings.
Will Nabokov -- signed to a one-year, low-money contract -- be an attractive option for one of 29 other NHL teams? Or will the rest of the league pass on Nabokov, just like they did during free agency and all season to this point?
Scouring the league, it's obvious a few teams could be interested.
Chicago won the Cup last year with a no-name goalie in Antti Niemi, but they've had little luck replacing him. With a cheap, veteran option available, it might behoove Chicago to consider Nabokov. No, he isn't a superstar, but he's a guy who could help them if he can get back in the swing of the NHL quickly.
Not only that, but it allows the Blackhawks to prevent a hated division rival from potentially getting better.
San Jose might not have made this list, but the injury suffered Thursday by goalie Antero Niittymaki could make them think differently. Niittymaki is on injured reserve after getting hurt during the team's morning skate. San Jose has the option here to bring back Nabokov, or simply call up a goalie from their AHL team in Worcester.
Given Nabokov's past with the organization, this is probably something general manager Doug Wilson will at least consider, especially given the low price.
Is Steve Yzerman content with letting Dwayne Roloson be the top guy, or will he move to solidify the position with another guy who has a ton of playoff experience?
Would Yzerman put the screws to his former team like this?
Columbus continues to struggle in nets, and this could be a chance to give Steve Mason and Mathieu Garon some competition.
For a team with playoff aspirations, it really doesn't make a lot of sense to not take a flier on a guy capable of helping you get there.
This is a team in a similar position to Columbus, only Atlanta might be a bigger surprise as a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference.
Ondrej Pavelec can play, but Chris Mason hasn't really been up to snuff as a backup. Nabokov could be an option they consider.