July 07, 2010
Evgeny Nabokov - HHOF Worthy?
With the likely end of Evgeny Nabokov's 10 year NHL career, we must ask the question: Is Evgeny Nabokov worthy of Hall of Fame induction?
A quick look at the chart below gives us a fairly obvious answer - No.
The chart looks at the retired goalies ahead of Nabokov on the all time wins list. Only NHL numbers have been taken into consideration here. All have been eligible for the HHOF nomination except for Belfour, who will earn his first consideration in 2011. Obviously Olympic and other international competition needs to be factored in, although I don't know that that would help Nabokov any.
Nabokov has some solid stats thanks to a goalie friendly era (unlike some of the older goalies shown above) and because he played on a top regular season team. But his career was relatively short and therefore his stats will be less impressive over the course of time. Nabokov won't be eligible for HHOF nomination for, presumably, 7 years at the earliest (4 year contract in Russia plus 3 year waiting period). In that time he will slide further down the wins and shutout list.
Moreover he has a reputation for faltering in big games (NHL playoffs, 2010 Olympics). That will almost certainly keep him out of the Hockey Hall of Fame.