It is nearing September and San Jose still has no back-up for Nabokov. The likely candidates are Thomas Greiss and Dimitri Patzold. The goalie system in San Jose is one of the very best. This year however it seemed to me that the Sharks would sign a veteran back-up. With the loss of Vesa Toskala it seems Nabokov will take most of the load next season. A great end to the season put Nabokov back in the #1 spot , and it is still his to lose. So who will start the games in between , to give him a rest or in case of injury ? Well your guess is as good as mine.
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Thomas Greiss has shown some promise. In 43 games last season in the AHL he posted a 26-15 record with a GA of 2.61 and a save pct. of .916. If San Jose looks to within he is probably the best bet.Dimitri Patold was called up last season due to an injury. I don't believe San Jose ever had any intention of playing him though.
Other options include signing a UFA such as Robert Esche or Curtis Joseph. Esche is probably the most likely to come here. At 29 years old Esche can still turn out to be a very good back-up or possible starter. The Sharks may be the team that can help get him back into that form.With a chance to start some games for a very good San Jose team Esche may be able to put up some good numbers and forget about last seasons lackluster performance. For the right price Esche may be a good fit. As for Cujo I just don't see him coming to San Jose.
Another possibility is via trade. With it looking more and more like Marleau will be dealt, San Jose could get a goaltender in a swap. One potential return could be Jaroslav Halak from Montreal. The rumors of something of this sort have run rampant in the rumor world. I believe there may be something there. It seems to me that San Jose is asking for one other piece to this deal that Montreal is not ready to throw in. Halak showed some great potential last season and could be a true starter in a couple years time. Playing behind Nabokov would be a great learning experience for the young goaltender.
San Jose will most likely wait until training camp to see how well Greiss and Patzold perform , before making a final decision. However if Marleau must go , I believe Halak will be the man backing up Nabokov.
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