Bye Bye

June 22

The Nabby Era is done.

After a bit more than a decade with the Sharks, goalie Evgeni Nabokov was told by General Manager Doug Wilson today that they will not try to re-sign him, and he’ll be a free agent July 1st.

It would be fair to say Nabby had a good run.

Not that many goalies start for 10 seasons-plus with the same team. No goalie won more games than Nabby did in the last three years ( 131), and he won 293 in the teal uniform with a 2.39 goals against average.

This was about economics under the salary cap. Nabby made six-million dollars last year and isn’t likely to take less, while Antti Niemi of the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks made 827-thousand. Nabby helped get the Sharks to the Western Conference finals this year, and the Sharks may figure that’s as good as it’ll get.

Nabokov and I share the same birthday ( and nothing else ). He will turn 35 this summer and the Sharks apparently think they can get a younger, cheaper netminder in the open market who is almost as good. Wilson believes the core of this team is good enough to make another deep run in the playoffs, and he’ll work on re-signing them.

***

The Maggette Era is done.

The Warriors dealt Corey Maggette and the 44th pick in Thursday’s draft to the Bucks for Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric. The Warriors get a piano off their back in the form of Maggette’s contract, which has three years and 30-million dollars left. They will save about 15-million total. They also lead the NBA in players named Bell.

It would be fair to say Maggette didn’t have a good run.

Originally a panic signing after the Warriors realized they didn’t have a shot at Elton Brand ( following the departure of Baron Davis ), Maggette missed 43 games in two years thanks to a diva-like hamstring among other physical problems. He played better this season but he remained a Hoist-a-potamus.

There were times when he was an effective 6th man, and he averaged nearly 20 points a game last season, but he rarely saw a shot he didn’t like. The stat sheet says he averaged 2.5 assists a game, but I only remember about three all season, and defense was never a strong suit. Maggette did shoot 51.6 % from the floor and 83 % from the free throw line, where he piled up many of his points.

Maggette will be a decent fit on a team that needs scoring off the bench, but to paraphrase the Staples commercial, “that’s a HIGH PRICE !!! ” Speaking of which, who is the brainiac who signed Gadzuric’s contract ? He’s due $7.2 million this coming season, but it’s an expiring deal so it carries value to the Warriors.

The Gadzuric deal makes Brian Cardinal look like a sound investment. The Warriors must have thought the Bucks would be suckers for Maggette’s deal. Anyone who would pay a Dan Gadzuric that much money has to be.

The Warriors are in the mood for bargain-hunting. They’re on the block themselves and want to get rid of the flotsam and jetsam where they can. Yesterday they swapped second round picks with the Trailblazers and picked up a cool two-mill. That barely registered on the Richter Scale but was a telling move.

Maybe they’re clearing space for Lebron, too.

***

The Mark DeRosa Era has barely started with the Giants, and his year is done.

DeRosa will undergo surgery on his balky left wrist once again next week. He and the Giants did their undue diligence, taking a long time to reach a decision that looked inevitable. He tried rest, and he tried rehab, and neither worked.

It would be fair to say that he’s had no run.

The Giants signed him to a two-year, 12-million dollar contract in the offseason after his first surgery. The hope was he’d be fit as a fiddle, but it just didn’t happen. The second-guessers are out in force, but I doubt the Giants would have signed him for that much money if they thought the wrist would come back to bite him.

DeRosa, who appears to be a standup guy, certainly felt pressure to make this work. After signing, he didn’t want to appear too anxious to go under the knife, and perhaps held out hope that he would be able to make a contribution this year. His contribution : 1 home run, 10 runs driven in, and a .194 average.

I backed his signing because he has some pop when healthy and can play different positions, much like Juan Uribe. Meanwhile, Uribe has produced for much less money and stayed healthy — as has Aubrey Huff. You win some, you lose some.

I became more negative about GM Brian Sabean the last couple of years thanks to the likes of Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria, but he has redeemed himself with several decent moves : Affeldt ( last year, anyway ), Huff, Uribe, Freddy Sanchez, and Pat Burrell, to name a few. His first-round pick in 2008, Buster Posey, is in the show and Madison Bumgarner is close.

Oh yes, Tim Lincecum turned out alright, as did Matt Cain. The Sabean balance sheet is moving more into the black lately. The Giants still need more offense so another move might be necessary — and in baseball, a General Manager is only as good as his last move.

No, not Barry. Please.

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