It has been widely reported that Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has been talking to Evgeni Nabokov. The free agent Russian goaltender has recently been released from his KHL contract that he signed this past summer. Nabokov struggled in the KHL and in the olympics and playoffs last year. However, with Tampa's horrendous goaltending, Nabokov might be a breath of fresh air.
Dan Ellis and Mike Smith have been back-breaking this year. The tandem was expected to sufficiently carry the load and help the Lightning to the playoffs. Backfire.
A few things to consider: Nabokov is over 35 years old so any contract he signs is binding on the cap even if he retires. Yzerman and the Lightning ownership are reluctant to lock up big dollars, and with Nabokov contract demands this past summer, they might not be able to commit that much to an over 35, struggling goalie whose cap hit will remain for the duration of his contract no matter what.
Lightning fans don't get too excited or too upset over this. There are still a few options for the Lightning. The Philadelphia Flyers have three goalies and one may be available. Tampa and Philadelphia have a good trading history so a deal between the two would make sense. Also don't count out Dwayne Roloson who could be moved by the Islanders.