Sharks Won't Sign Nabokov, He'll Hit Free Agency On July 1

The San Jose Sharks won't be re-signing soon-to-be-free-agent goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, general manager Doug Wilson told CSN California on Tuesday. The exact quote from Wilson...

Well it's an organization decision and you take a look at what the trends are in this league and the dedication of dollars to that position. And Nabokov's been an outstanding player for us and responsible for some great successes. And we have to take a look at where we're at and where we're going and we wish him nothing but the best in true appreciation for him. We've got some very good young goaltenders coming. There's quite a few goaltenders that we expect to be available to build our tandem going forward. And it comes down to dedication of dollars, not only this upcoming year but going forward the next four or five years.

Nabokov will hit free agency as one of the elder statemen in a long list of available goalies this summer. Over the last four seasons in San Jose, Nabokov put together successful regular season runs but things never worked out in the playoffs. With a cap hit of $5.375 million, it seems like a big price to pay on a guy who doesn't get the real goal done in the long run.

The question now, of course, is where will Nabokov land come July 1? There are plenty of teams looking for solid goaltending, but most teams aren't able or aren't willing to put that much money up on an aging veteran with little to show on his playoff resume.

Is it possible that the 34 year old Russian returns to Europe to play? Will an NHL team cough up the money? Will he take a pay cut somewhere in North America? Ah, the intrigue of free agency...

For more, visit our Sharks blog, Fear The Fin.

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