So I'm sure that everyone saw this coming in January 2011, but Evgeni Nabokov has signed a one year extension to stay with the club for 2012-13. Per @BobMacKenzieTSN, it is a $2.75 million contract -- nearly a five-fold increase from the $570,000 he made this season.
Nabokov, who broke a tie with Miikka Kiprusoff last night, is 4th among active goaltenders with 310 wins.
Despite a 17-18-3 record, Nabokov has matched his career save percentage (.912) and has a 2.56 GAA this season.
I also have liked some of his comments about the team, such as this last night:
"Like always, you have to find a motivation…you have to have a pride in the room… play with passion, and see what happens. That's the bottom line.""
It was Nabokov who challenged his teammates after a 3-0 loss to the Rangers the day after Christmas:
""We just need to simplify our game a little bit. I don't think we need to change a lot, I think we need to simplify. We have quite a bit of turnovers and we just have to find a way to play hard… We have to come out with swagger… We have to come out with the mentality that we can win, that we are going to work hard and at the end of the night, see what will happen"
Perhaps coincidentally the Isles were 11-17-6 when he made those comments and are 19-13-5 since.
With Nabokov signed, there are seven potential UFAs on the current Islander roster: Pandolfo, Montoya, Eaton, Staios, Jurcina, Reese and PA Parenteau.
Nabokov's signing means that the Isles have committed about $39 million towards their cap for next season.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick