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Sharks move on without Nabokov
Team announces netminder will not be re-signed
6/22/10 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks clarified some of their roster questions on Tuesday by posting an announcement on their website that goaltender Evgeni Nabokov will not be re-signed by the team. Citing salary cap issues, General Manager Doug Wilson made the decision to pursue alternatives in net this summer. Nabokov’s 5-year $21 million contract expires on July 1, but Wilson is forced to figure out how to pay for free agents Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi, Manny Malhotra and Scott Nichol.

Wilson notified Nabokov of the decision in a face to face conversation.

“We would like to thank Nabby for the time he has spent in San Jose ,” Wilson said in the Sharks internet posting. “Nabby has been a big part of this team for the past 10 seasons and played an important role is our successes. This decision boils down to a dedication of dollars in a salary cap system and under this system, teams can't keep everyone. We are excited about the goaltenders coming up through our system and we will also keep an eye on assets that may become available in the coming weeks.”

In his 10 years in San Jose , Nabokov amassed a 293-215-29 record, and almost won the Vezina Trophy in 2008, but his sub-par performances in the playoffs may define his legacy. Nabokov couldn’t make the big saves necessary to get the Sharks past the Chicago Blackhawks this past spring in the Conference Finals.

Cheaper alternatives like Antti Niemi and Michael Leighton got their teams farther in the playoffs, and a cadre of free agent goaltending options are available to Wilson this Summer.

The Sharks were rumored to be in the bidding for then Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak, before the Slovak was dealt to St Louis last week. Wilson also has a couple of in-house options to lean on. Thomas Greiss went 7-4-1 in twelve games for the Sharks last season. He is also under contract for a bargain basement price of $550,000.

22-yearl old prospect Alex Stalock had an impressive season in Worcester last season, compiling a 39-19-2 record for the Sharks top minor league affiliate. It was Stalock’s first season as a professional. He rung up a 21-13-8 record in his final season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 2008-09.


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