Whichever team gets Evgeni Nabokov will do so at a bargain price

If no other team puts a claim in on Evgeni Nabokov and the Detroit Red Wings do end up landing him, they’ll be getting a player who is not far removed from being an elite NHL goaltender for a bargain-basement price.

And there’s a chance that if he does get claimed, he could be going back to the San Jose Sharks, a team whose goaltending has been suspect this season and which signed university goaltender Jordan White to a one-game amateur tryout to replace injured backup Antero Niittymaki Thursday night. has learned that the one-year deal Nabokov signed with the Red Wings was for $570,000 for an entire season because that was basically all the room the Red Wings had under the salary cap. But since contracts are broken down on a per-day basis and only 79 days remain in this season, Nabokov will actually only receive $242,000.

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That’s a huge bargain considering Nabokov finished last season second in the NHL in wins with 44 and sixth in save percentage at .922.

Should Nabokov be claimed by one of the 27 teams below the Red Wings in the standings, Nabokov will have to choose whether to report to that team or refuse to report, in which case he would likely be placed on waivers once again. Getting Nabokov back on the cheap for a second-half playoff push would seem a natural move for the Sharks.