July 07, 2010
Puck On The 'Net: KHL Nabs Nabby
It would appear that Evgeni Nabokov's NHL career is over.
Various reports have the 35 year old goaltender signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian super-league KHL. The Globe and Mail is reporting it is a four year contract, while the Toronto Sun suggests it is a six year pact worth $24 million. That money is income tax free, by the way, making it far more attractive than a similar offer from any North America team.
Not that the NHL offers were apprently plentiful for Nabokov. Outside of some speculative tire kicking by the Philadelphia Flyers, there was very little in terms of rumored destinations for the former San Jose Sharks goaltenders. Perhaps his contract demands were too high? Perhaps his melt down at the Olympics and repeated failings in the Stanley Cup finals had NHL teams looking elsewhere first?
Given the goalie glut a one year jump to KHL should not be considered a huge surprise for any unsigned NHL goalie right now. Take note Marty Turco. But signing for multiple seasons almost certainly means we have seen the last of Nabokov in the National Hockey League.
Nabokov joins several other familiar names playing St. Petersburg, including Robert Esche, Sergei Zubov, Sergei Brylin, Alexei Yashin, Andrei Zyuzin, Oleg Saprykin, Alexander Koryluk, Darius Kasparitis, Nils Ekman, Joel Kwiatkowski, and Peter Cajanek. Long time Russian scoring sensation Maxim Sushinsky, who never left for the NHL, is also on the team.