Evgeni Nabokov is going back to where his NHL career started and it is expected he will announce his retirement on Wednesday.
Nabokov was drafted by the Sharks in the ninth round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, and the Russian made his debut for San Jose on New Year’s Day in 2000.
He won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie in 2000-01 after posting a 2.19 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 66 games.
He is the Sharks’ career leader in just about every goaltending category after playing 10 seasons in San Jose. His 293 wins are almost double the total of second-place Antti Niemi.
Nabokov is 293-178-66 in 563 career games with the Sharks, with a 2.39 GAA, .912 save percentage and 50 shutouts.
After playing the 2010-11 season for SKA St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League, Nabokov returned to the NHL in January 2011 as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings, but was claimed off waivers by the New York Islanders before making an appearance for the Wings.
He signed a one-year deal with the Lightning in July, but was just 3-6-2 in 11 games, posting a 3.15 GAA and .882 save percentage as a backup to Ben Bishop.
Tampa Bay recalled 20-year-old Andrey Vasilevskiy in December and he has taken over the primary backup role from Nabokov.