The New York Islanders have an assortment of goaltending options they can go to for next season.
As of now, their options include Evgeni Nabokov, Al Montoya, Rick DiPietro, Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson.
The Isles signed Nabby to a one-year deal for next season. DiPietro obviously still has several years remaining on his contract. Montoya might end up with another team next season, as he still awaits a contract.
I'll get right down to it: The Islanders should go with Nabokov and one of their rookies (Poulin or Nilsson) next season.
Nabby flat-out gives the team a good chance to win night in and night out, despite his age. He's a leader on the ice, and he helps the young defensemen develop their game, while the action is going on.
The team needs to avoid DiPietro. He is always getting bit by the injury bug, and he's not even that great when he actually plays.
The Islanders shouldn't bother signing Montoya. If they do, then they should definitely look to trade him and find someone with some value.
Poulin or Nilsson should get the backup role behind Nabokov, depending on who does better in the preseason. They've had some NHL experience, and they could finally be ready to take it to the next level.
Nabokov would teach them a lot, and they would be a pretty reliable source of wins when Nabber needs a breather.
Once Nabokov leaves the team, it would begin a new generation for Isles goaltending. And that's where Poulin or Nilsson should take the team by the reigns. But in order for them to do that, they should get a season in as backups.
The way I see it, Nabokov should start about 60 games and let Poulin or Nilsson get the rest. It may seem like a lot, but it will be well worth it when the time comes for the team to be theirs.
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