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NHL Trade Scenarios: 5 Teams That Could Be Interested in Evgeni Nabokov

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2011

NHL Trade Scenarios: 5 Teams That Could Be Interested in Evgeni Nabokov

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    Evgeni Nabokov being traded from the New York Islanders this season seems to be one of the deals that's just waiting to happen.

    Given his playoff experience with the San Jose Sharks and the talent he has, Nabokov will be in demand from contending teams if injuries or poor play create a need between the pipes.

    The Russian isn't helping his cause, however, and is just 1-5 in eight games played this season with a 2.83 GAA.

    Let's look at five teams who could be interested in acquiring Nabokov before the trading deadline.

Ottawa Senators

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    The Ottawa Senators are clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference right now and could use Evgeni Nabokov if they remain in the playoff hunt later in the season.

    Craig Anderson started off the season well for the Senators in goal, but he has since dipped in form and currently has a 3.45 GAA.

    If the Senators want to make a serious push for the playoffs, Nabokov could be a player to consider.

Anaheim Ducks

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    The Anaheim Ducks are 22nd in the NHL in goals allowed per game at 3.1, and they need a goaltender who can come in and play well right now.

    They are not out of the playoff race because of the talent they have, but Nabokov's experience in the Western Conference could really help the Ducks get back into the playoff hunt.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    The Columbus Blue Jackets need a goalie, no surprise there. The team has enough talent to compete in the Western Conference, but their goaltending has been atrocious, and Steve Mason appears to have run out of chances to prove himself.

    The Blue Jackets allow the fifth-most goals per game in the NHL, and they still have time to erase the early hole they have dug themselves into.

    Nabokov knows the Western Conference and would be an immediate upgrade in Columbus.

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    I really believe that the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to the playoffs this season, which means they need a goalie with playoff experience if James Reimer has further injury problems this season.

    Jonas Gustavsson is not someone who will win in the playoffs, and if the Maple Leafs end up playing the Boston Bruins or Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs, they will have to get great goaltending.

    Even as a backup to Reimer, Nabokov would be a good addition because he is good enough to fill in if called upon, and he can mentor Reimer on the hardships of the playoffs.

Florida Panthers

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    The Florida Panthers are the first-place team in the Southeast Division and have played really well this season at both ends of the ice.

    Top goaltender prospect Jacob Markstrom has played well, but he is still an untested player with no playoff experience.

    Nabokov would give the team a veteran player who can play with Markstrom and give him a rest when needed.

    Jose Theodore has never been past the second round of the playoffs despite playing on some very good teams, and it's clear that Nabokov could give the Panthers more goaltending depth if they are still in the race for the playoffs in January. 

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