"The Nabokov thing was an opportunity for us," Babcock said. "If it had happened, it would've helped our goaltending because we have no Ozzie. Also, it's a message to everybody — the league's in constant change. If someone can take your job, they take your job. When you're a goalie and you give up four and the other guy gives up one, you don't like that."
From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/a...m#ixzz1BpBUqOSY
As I've repeatedly said, this absolutely has at least something to do with Howard's play of late. It may not be the only reason, but it's no doubt part of the reason. They weren't too vocal about it before, but Babcock couldn't be more clear with the message he's sending in that quote.
That said, I repeat, I think it's very good that we didn't land Nabokov. Sure, Jimmy's struggled this year, but we know what he's capable of. This year will probably end up a wash for him, but it's experience, and even if he were to lose the starting role to Osgood, it'd be far more likely that the Wings would still sign him next year, and likely at a better price than we were expecting earlier this year. If he lost the job to an outsider, he's gone. I don't think either party would go above and beyond to make a deal happen.
But if he can hold it together well enough and doesn't chase starters money over the summer, I think he'd likely be a much better goalie in his 3rd season. He's learning a lot about the ups and downs of the NHL this year. He's got to be aware of the fact that he's got some glaring fundamental problems that he needs to improve upon, and after this year, he might be more likely to put in a hard summer working on them.
I really believe that we dodged a bullet by not getting Nabokov. He's not a long-term solution for this team, and our best chance at a long-term solution would most likely have been boxed out in the short run. It's just not worth it.
- 13dangledangle likes this