What was suppose to be an insurance signing for the Tampa Bay Lightning turned out to be a big risk as the team has parted with veteran netminder, Evgeni Nabokov. Brought in for just one season to back-up Ben Bishop, the 39-year-old Nabby posted a 3-6-2 with an .882 save percentage and a 3.15 GAA in 11 games before being placed on waivers earlier today.
Nabokov’s play has been on a decline in the twilight stage of his career with his save percentage dropping and his goals against climbing steadily. Since breaking into the league in 1999, Nabokov has earned 353 career wins (18th best all-time) as well as a Calder Memorial Trophy.
The Oskemen native spent 10 seasons with the San Jose Sharks before leaving briefly for the KHL. He returned to the NHL and spent 3 seasons with the New York Islanders before signing his now half-year deal with the Lightning.
At 39, it could be the end of the road for Nabokov unless some team feels he can contribute to their playoff push. The Lightning now turn to their future in Andrei Vasilevskiy who was recalled from the AHL to back-up Bishop. Having made his NHL debut earlier this season the 20-year-old will now get a good look by the Bolts as he joins the team full-time.