FanPost

The Case for Nabby

With the trade deadline approaching I was wondering why there hasnt been any mention of the possibility of bringing back E. Nabokov to the organization. He is 35 years old so definitely not past his prime, he would cost....

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In all seriousness though.

The question of the Sharks goaltending this upcoming season. First off, I want to discuss this in a logical manner, without having my thoughts ridden off by being called a Niemi-hater. I am not Anti-Niemi (see what I did there). The fact of the matter is that while Niemi's save% last season was .915 in 68 gp, Nabby's was an almost identical .914 in 42 gp on a team much worse than the Sharks, needless to say with a much crappier defense in front of him. By comparison, Greiss had an identical save% to Niemi's, and had a GAA of only 2.30 compared to Niemi's 2.42. What's more is that Niemi has not shown up in either of his two playoffs with the Sharks. In both his playoffs, Niemi posted worse stats and play than in his regular season (2.45 GAA and .915 save% last playoffs and 3.22 GAA and .896 save% the year before that), and never stole a game or series for us (apart from game 1 vs the Blues last PO's), the way that goaltenders are supposed to do if a team is to make a run at the cup. But even the Blues series, Niemi wasn't consistent after game 1 and played really poor in the games after. Granted, all the players played worse after, but a lot of it had to do with Niemi letting in soft goals for the first goal of the games that led to the Sharks playing from behind, and logical part aside for a sec, the team didn't look too confident with him in goal.

Now, with Brad Stuart signed for three years, it looks like Murray's time with the Sharks is pretty much done. If the Sharks can trade Crankshaft for Nabby, and trade Niemi to a team in need of a goaltender (like Chicago) for Michael Frolik, or to another team for a quality winger that DW has been stressing to get lately, then the team only gets better. If not in the short-term, then definitely in the long-term. This way either Nabby and Greiss can work as a tandem for the season while Stalock completes his development process and/or rehab, or we trade Greiss as well for another winger or use him in a package for a high-profiled player, especially with his more than fine caphit-for-value contract and have Stalock/Sateri/Sexsmith duke it out for the backup job.

Either way, the good thing with Nabby is that with only one year remaining on his contract with a very affordable $2.75mil caphit, we can prepare for the Sharks goaltending future, and all the while not risk losing quality in the Sharks run for the cup this season by losing a solid average goalie in Niemi and replacing him with another solid, albeit declining average goalie in Nabby. Only difference in value is age, and after next season, we can move on with the younger cats in goal.

This item was created by a member of this blog's community and is not necessarily endorsed by Fear The Fin.

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