Red Wings have had talks with Nabokov's agent

The Detroit Red Wings are exploring the possibility of acquiring goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed Thursday he's had conversations with Nabokov's agent, Don Meehan, about the 35-year-old goalie.

"Good discussions with Detroit," Meehan wrote in an e-mail.

Nabokov would have to clear waivers in the NHL to sign with the Red Wings because he started the season playing in another league, Russia's KHL.

The San Jose Sharks didn't offer Nabokov a contract to play this season. He made $6 million last season in the final year of his five-year contract.

Chris Osgood, who backs up Jimmy Howard, had hernia surgery last week and is expected to be out until March. Howard has been slowed by a bruised right knee.

Howard returned to the lineup Thursday night in St. Louis after missing two games. He made 26 saves in the Red Wings' 4-3 overtime victory.

"I don't need anyone to push me. I push myself. I practice hard," Howard said after the game when asked about Nabokov. "It's out of my hands. If he can help us, he can help us."