The New York Islanders are not playoff bound, and when teams aren't playoff bound, they typically try to sell some parts at the trade deadline. Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov has been great for the Isles of late, and it's quite possible that his value is higher now than it will ever be.
That's leading some fans to believe that Garth Snow should get rid of the man who's quickly become his No. 1 netminder. Via an extremely detailed FanPost at Lighthouse Hockey:
But if a player would leave the team at the end of the year and the team cannot re-sign that player or that player HAS VALUE but does NOT HAVE A PLACE IN THE TEAM'S FUTURE, the team needs to trade that player to get something for that value.
Nabokov is this type of player. His contract runs to the end of the season. Moreover, he's 36. Even if he wanted to sign with the Islanders again, he's probably on his last legs and he's 6th oldest in the NHL right now. At best the Islanders could expect from him to repeat his career average (not this current performance) next year, and more likely he'll get worse. No one escapes from aging.
Nabokov is old, and as good as he's been of late for the Islanders, the playoffs are essentially out of the question and there's no guarantee that he'll keep up that strong play beyond this season. There's not even a guarantee that he'll keep it up for the rest of this season, really. The Islanders might be wise to get something in return for Nabokov at the trade deadline this year before his value inevitably plummets.
You can get team-by-team coverage of the 2012 NHL trade deadline from around our network of hockey blogs, with Islanders-specific coverage from Lighthouse Hockey. For more on the news, rumors and speculation surrounding the trade deadline, subscribe to our StoryStream.