Evgeni Nabokov to retire as Shark after trade from Lightning
39-year-old holds nearly every San Jose goalie record
Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman dealt Evgeni Nabokov back to San Jose Monday, paving the way for the goalie’s expected retirement as a Shark this week.
Nabokov will discuss his hockey future Wednesday at a 3 p.m. ET news conference.
San Jose GM Doug Wilson sent future considerations to Tampa Bay for Nabokov, a ninth-round draft pick of the Sharks in 1994.
The 39-year-old holds nearly every franchise goaltending record, including games played (563), wins (154) and shutouts (50).
Congratulations to Evgeni Nabokov on a tremendous <a href="https://twitter.com/NHL">@NHL</a> career. A class act on and off the ice. To complete his journey in SJ is perfect.—@Panger40
Nabokov, whom Tampa Bay waived recently, was signed by the club before this season, in part to mentor prospect Andrei Vasilevskiy, who later supplanted the NHL veteran as Ben Bishop's backup.
Nabokov had a 3-6-2 record and 3.15 goals-against average with the Lightning this season but only appeared in two games since Christmas.
"He'd seen and done everything," Tampa head coach Jon Cooper told reporters last week. "He's seen things I haven't seen yet. He was helping not only our players, he helped me in areas.
"He opened your eyes in things. You look at things differently because of his perspective. Ultimately, it's a little bit of a results-based league."
Awesome gesture by <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SJSharks?src=hash">#SJSharks</a> to bring back Evgeni Nabokov for old time's sake. Never brought home Cup but key figure in franchise's rise.—@NHLJensen
The Russian puckstopper played 14 NHL seasons with San Jose, Tampa and New York Islanders, posting a 15-14-8 record, 2.74 goals-against average and .905 save percentage with the Islanders last season.