This weather makes no sense. Sunny day after rainy day followed by another sunny day…. at the end of May? It is probably catastrophic for agriculture in California. It couldn’t be much worse if the changes came by the hour instead of by the day. Similarly, at least one Flyer follower is changing his tune on the subject of goalies in Philadelphia:
It is obvious the Flyers don’t need one of the hottest goalies in the NHL, but why only realize it now? They have some of the best offense in the NHL, a defense of equal quality, and a lot of salary tied up in those. They also have a very promising young goalie in Bobrovsky and a couple of very competent backups, one of which is still under contract for another year. They are not in dire need of the hottest thing in goal.
I’ve asked about Nabby in the past, but most Flyers sources met that idea with bewilderment or dismissed it. “He’s hurt,” they would say, or “he’s not good enough,” or “he didn’t want to come here before, he won’t want to now” or else “Philly won’t want him, his playoff numbers stink.” In short, Nabokov isn’t truly on Flyers fans’ radar.
I don’t know which part of that spectrum DGS belongs in or how representative he is of Flyers fan base opinion. Ray Emery far and away gets more favor from Flyer fandom, probably because he was briefly with the team. Emery? EMERY? He’s marvelous of course but he is far less likely to hold up than most. His success this year with the Ducks was a relationship born of dire necessity ending with a heroic mutual rescue between a battered goalie and a frantic team. I think he will happily stay for any price with the Ducks and they will happily keep him, but no one else will come calling.
Shortly after tweeting the above, DGS tweeted this in response to queries about various alternatives to the cream of the 2011 UFA crop:
I’m not sure what hints he means. I’ve said all along that any team would be insane to not try and get Nabokov’s 1 year contract from the Islanders. But, aside from what common sense tells me, I haven’t seen or heard hints that Holmgren is thinking of this. The price makes Nabokov irresistible enough to ignore his current injury and recent contractual foolishness. I suppose because he played all those years out West, the East Coast fans are not familiar with him. I would expect more from a competent GM.
I’m not saying Nabokov’s at his prime, but if he wants to get back into it, he can get there. There is a reason the Sharks had such a difficult time adapting to Niemi’s style of play. Rebounds and minimal puck handling skills were not something they had seen from their goalie since, well, ever. Niemi might have a more serene temperament but there is a reason San Jose put up with having their D men get yelled at. Nabokov was that good and they knew it. And who’s to say they didn’t need to be yelled at?
Offset Nabokov’s drawbacks with the fact that he did just return from a very unsatisfactory stay in Russia and is loathe to play for anyone but a top tier team, and he really needs a team like the Flyers. If he wants to play he will play. He didn’t sign with with the Red Wings for the money.
Add to Nabokov’s virtues the Flyers’ salary cap situation and he is the only goalie worth making room for. Talk of choosing between Carle and Leino, or trading Carter at all, these are not satisfactory moves for the Flyers to make. You don’t cut off your arms to buy new legs. It just doesn’t make sense.