According to the Islanders Official Website, Nabokov stated, “I’m thrilled to commit to this team for next season. We have a great group in the locker room of young, talented players and we’re heading in the right direction. I’m excited to have the chance to help get this team back to the playoffs.”
It sounds very much like he wants to be here. This season, Nabokov has a 17-18-3 record to go with a .912 save percentage and a 2.56 goals-against average.
He leads the team in wins, as well as both statistical categories. His stats are pretty good for an Islander goaltender—especially when you consider the fact that the defense in front of him is young and inexperienced. Combined with the creaky veterans, there are several defensive lapses a game.
But hopefully, the defense improves in the offseason. And that means the young players developing and a change in personnel; Mark Streit, Steve Staios, and Milan Jurcina aren't cutting it.
Nabokov has spent the rest of his NHL career with the San Jose Sharks, a team that is no stranger to the postseason, so Nabby definitely has the experience to bring the team there.
He's fourth among active goalies with 310 wins, 22nd all time.
Garth Snow made the right decision. And he only made it a one-year deal, just in case. The Islanders are learning from their past mistakes.
But extending Nabby was no mistake. He will probably be a big part of the team next season.