Nabokov as trade bait?

One possible explanation for coach Jack Capuano’s surprising decision to start Evgeni Nabokov in goal?

The Islanders could be showcasing the 36-year-old netminder in hopes of trading him.

Capuano’s decision was a puzzling one, especially since starter Al Montoya played so well in the team’s first three games. The 26-year-old is 2-1-0 with a 1.35 GAA and .953 save percentage.

Nabokov, one of three goaltenders that made the team out of training camp, received little playing time this preseason and was scratched the first two regular-season games. The former Vezina Trophy finalist makes his first start Saturday after a lengthy layoff; he last played in an NHL game in May 2010.

Asked if any teams have inquired about Nabokov, general manager Garth Snow said through a team spokesman that he “doesn’t discuss his dealings with other GM’s.”

Scouts from Vancouver, Carolina, San Jose, Phoenix and Columbus are listed on the Islanders seating chart for Saturday’s game.

When the Islanders tolled Nabokov’s contract this summer to retain his rights for the 2011-12 season, many assumed they did so with the intent of shopping him to another team in the future.

7 Responses to Nabokov as trade bait?

  1. reinjosh says:

    Most Leaf fans are going to be high on the Leafs right now and really we should be. They are 3 and 0 and they have shown resiliency to fight back from a deficit, fight off a comeback, and even dominant games. I feel like this could be surprise year where everything goes relatively right with a young team. That said, I do feel like we need to something to the forwards, I honestly just don't know what that is. 

    I'd say we're pretty set at center. Connolly when he comes back is pretty damn talented, we all love Grabo, Lombardi is looking nice, and Steckel is playing awesome. Toss in Dupuis, Bozak and Kadri and we have some nice depth even through an injury or two. THis I think means we probably need to go after a winger as its not as deep. 
    I feel like it that guy needs to be cheap enough to make sense long term but also still skilled. I propose one of these four guys.
    Shane Doan, Ray Whitney, Milan Hejduk or Tuomo Ruutu. 
    All these guys are upcoming UFA's so they could be had if their teams are out the race come the deadline or even December. 
    Doan is likely the most expensive one. A lot depends on the ownership situation. If it gets fixed he most likely stays. He'd be perfect though. Still has top 6 skill, he's a born leader and he would bring size and grit.
    Ruutu would also bring the perfect blend of size, grit and skill. He would give us some real mean top 9 talent and would make us very deep. He wouldn't bring as much leadership as the other guys but he would still have some to bring to the table. 
    Milan Hejduk would bring lots of skill and leadership but little grit. He would be a great wing replacement if anyone in the top 6 went down. He might not be available though as he's shown a large desire to stay in Colorado. Plus the Avs might want to keep his leadership if they are playoff bound. Still if he could be had, he would be a sweet add.
    Ray Whitney is old. He turns 40 this coming May. However he's still very talented and underrated. He would bring a lot of leadership as well for a playoff run. 
    One of these four guys is who I would target for a trade.
  2. FlamingHomer says:

    Why do journalists think it's a big deal that NHL scouts are attending other team's games? What should they be doing instead?

  3. reinjosh says:

    Usually its a big deal when a team has more than one pro scout at the game. Team's don't have a large number of pro scouts (3 – 5 is about the norm) so when you have 2 or more, its usually an indication that they are scouting a specific player. The idea is that the team wants to judge whether a player is a good add or not. 

    But your right, it's usually nothing. 
  4. Mapleleaves says:

    I wonder what the_word/Wallace 's new name will be. Im exited.

  5. alpalstewart says:

    sure i'll take him. we'll trade khabibulin for him straight across

    one aging russian for one aging russian.  lol
  6. thisgamewelose says:

    I agree. I don't think any team would turn down Shane Doan. The guy is amazing and could do some real damage on an above average team. 

  7. mojo19 says:

    Since they are the team that tried to sign him, the Islanders should trade Nabby to Detroit for Conklin and a 3rd. That would be fair.

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