Forget the rumors with Evgeni Nabokov.
The New York Islanders are getting the most goalie miles out of him Nabokov, who becomes an UFA after this season. The controversy from last season doesn’t matter anymore. It’s in the past now.
What’s curious about the Islanders ring of goalies this year is that Al Montoya also becomes a UFA after this season.
He’s less attractive to the Islanders at this point, due to his inconsistency since coming back from a concussion.
He’s also relatively cheap at $600,000 this year. Would he deserve much more next year? Nabokov sure deserves more than his $570,000.
The Islanders are stuck with Rick DiPietro’s contract, and they also have Kevin Poulin to entertain. Poulin is the Isles’ most talented youngster, Lighthouse Hockey argues.
As for Ray Emery, the Blackhawks signed him with the exit of Marty Turco and in need of another veteran looking to redeem himself.
The veteran route hasn’t proved to be a good one for Chicago.
I like the thought of Montoya because he’s a youngster who has shown promise in the first couple of months, he’s cheap, and he’s from Chicago.
There’s good stock in the fact that Montoya may want to play for his hometown team, and that his hometown team will be needing to sign a backup goalie for the third time in a row.
What about Rockford?
Alexander Salak sill has one year left remaining on his contract while Carter Hutton is on a one-year contract and has built his way up from the Toledo Walleyes of the ECHL.
It’d be a stretch to expect any of these guys to be NHL-ready for next year. The Blackhawks tried to rush Crawford in too early with a handful of games in the 2007-08 season. Crawford’s consistency may very well still be in question, but that contract of his means two more years of a commitment.
Montoya could be a No. 1 challenger in Chicago, and could help create a dynamic tandem with Crawford.