I see it as cheap but pretty damn good insurance.
1. You don't know what Ozzie's shape will be being off the ice for 6-8 weeks after a sports hernia surgery. What if he can't move in a certain way ...
2. Jimmy can perform in the playoffs, he did great last year but we lost in 2nd round. If he plays again this year, he will just get more mature and I think he has a good head on his shoulder. Don't know if he can take us all the way but people like Halak, Lehtonen, Niemi were the goalies that stood on their heads so anything can happen.
BUT having someone like Nabby in the bullpen if Jimmy does get the jitters or injures himself from now till playoffs is just good prudent decision. If anything, it shows Kenny doesn't have a lot of confidence in Joey MacDonald to either back up Jimmy or go to bat in case Jimmy goes down. For $250K to cover all those bases ... what a steal! I'm kinda surprised Nabby signed for so cheap but then he's probably still laughing to the bank with his $6 mill last year.
1. I think Osgood will be fine when he comes back. The fact that he was playing through the injury at all makes me think that he's going to come back strong. It might take him a few games to get sharp, but he's been looking good this year.
2. I like Jimmy and I have a lot of faith in his ability to develop into a real-deal starting goalie, but I don't think he's ready for the playoffs and I don't see how you can suggest he played "great" last year. Even the Osgood haters around here were calling for Osgood to go in! He had his moments where he came up big, but he had far too many moments where he utterly and completely dropped the ball. You don't become a playoff goalie overnight. I've maintained all along that it was just too much for him early on.
If we're able to keep Nabokov, it's really nothing but a positive in the short run. I trust him more than Howard in the playoffs at this current point in time and if indeed Osgood isn't able to get things going, it'll be good to have Nabokov around.
That said, I don't think this is good for Howard. He's struggled this year and this is hardly a vote of confidence in him. Do you think for a second that they would have made this move last year when he was playing great? Really? If he wasn't letting in 4 goals a game on a regular basis and getting pulled, do you really think Holland would make a move now? Even with the injuries, I highly doubt it. I really can't help but think this might be the first sign that Howard will not be returning next year. Think about this...
If he can't beat out Nabokov for the starting role after struggling last playoffs and then struggling this season, they're not going to want to throw a lot of money at him. Same can be said if Osgood ends up starting in the playoffs, but if Nabokov starts and does well, they'll sign him and Osgood up before Howard and Osgood. Howard's not going to take a backup role for a million or less now, but Osgood will.
One of two things has to happen for Howard to stick around: he either has to play great from here on out and steal the show and show some semblance of success in the playoffs, or Nabokov has to be terrible.
And personally, I'd rather hang tight until Osgood comes back and let them fight it out and keep them both around next year at reasonable prices. Having three goalies around is never a good idea. Even if they're all decent guys, the simple "two net" thing will get frustrating real quick.
- GoWings1905 likes this