Evgeni Nabokov Suspended By New York Islanders

Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was suspended by the Islanders earlier this week. The Isles claimed him off waivers last Saturday, blocking the Red Wings from adding him to their roster.

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Evgeni Nabokov Suspended By New York Islanders

Earlier this week, the New York Islanders suspended goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who was claimed off waivers by the team last Saturday. Nabokov signed a deal with the Detroit Red Wings last week, hoping to help a playoff team during the rest of the season, but the Islanders blocked the move by claiming him off waivers. Because Nabokov played in the KHL up until December, the only way he could get back into the NHL was by going through waivers, and the Islanders decided to make a move to acquire his rights.

Because Nabokov was set on playing for the Red Wings or at the very least a team that is in playoff contention, he decided not to report to the Islanders. His two options were to go ahead and play with New York or simply decide to stay at home, and he opted for the latter, saying that it was nothing personal, but he just doesn't have any desire to play for a team like the Isles.

"I think I'm going to stay home for now, I'm sticking with my decision," Nabokov told ESPN.com from his home in San Jose, Calif. "It's nothing against the Islanders and their organization. It's nothing to do with that. It's just that I'm at the point in my career where I want to help a team win in the playoffs. I don't see how I could help the Islanders or what I could do for them. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. And I hope they understand that."

Islanders general manager Garth Snow decided to suspend Nabokov after it became clear he wasn't going to join the team. Snow's options were to suspend him or essentially cut ties with the goaltender by putting him back on waivers. The latter option would have given the Red Wings a shot at picking him back up, but now that New York has simply suspended him, that won't be happening.

The Islanders don't want to lose Nabokov's rights and give the rest of the NHL a chance at acquiring him, so for now this is basically one big stalemate. Nabokov isn't going to report to the Islanders and the Islanders aren't going to cut ties with him, so what it looks like right now is that he will be sitting out the rest of the 2010-11 season. Perhaps this offseason the Red Wings will make a move to sign Nabokov again when waivers wouldn't prevent him from heading to Detroit.

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Red Wings Won't Get Evgeni Nabokov After Islanders Claim Him On Waivers

Evgeni Nabokov won’t be providing any depth at goaltender for the Detroit Red Wings this season. The Wings signed him to a one-year contract on Thursday, but there was always the chance that he’d never put on a Detroit uniform since another team could claim him on waivers.

Saturday morning, the New York Islanders became that team.

From the Detroit Free Press:

"We tried something, and he’s been claimed by another team," general manager Ken Holland said. "We move on. It’s the nature of the rules and the league."

As indicated by him agreeing to a contract with the Red Wings, Nabokov’s preference was to play for first-place Detroit, rather than an Islanders team with the third-fewest points in the NHL. But as Holland says, those are the rules.

Is there a chance that the Islanders could end up trading Nabokov to the Wings? As the Freep’s Helene St. James reports, that would be unlikely, as the Islanders would have to put Nabokov back on waivers, allowing another team to claim him.

It isn’t known if any other claims were put in for Nabokov this time around, but there were rumors of several teams being interested.

The Wings called up Jordan Pearce from Grand Rapids for Saturday’s game against the Blackhawks in case Nabokov had gotten through waivers. Had Nabokov gone to the Wings, and Joey McDonald was sent down to clear a spot on the roster, McDonald would’ve had to clear waivers. That wasn’t a concern with Pearce, as he’s only in his second year.

UPDATE: It appears the Islanders won’t be getting Nabokov, either. ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports on Twitter that Nabokov will not report to the team. The Isles can either suspend Nabokov or put him back on waivers. (Or hope he changes his mind.)

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Evgeni Nabokov Signs Deal With Red Wings; Must Now Clear Waviers

Via the Detroit Red WingsTwitter feed and as reported on Fox Sports Detroit Evgeni Nabokov has signed a one-year deal with the club.

Because Nabokov started the year in the KHL, he will have to clear waivers, beginning at noon tomorrow, which means any team in the NHL can make a claim on the 35-year-old goaltender regardless of his contract with Detroit.

The Detroit Free Press reported earlier today that the deal would be worth $570,000, prorated to $250,000, for the rest of the season.

Though his signature is on a contract with Detroit, there's a high probability that Nabokov won't end up in Motown. There are plenty of teams that could use veteran goaltending help, and for $570,000 Nabokov would be quite a deal. One interesting situation would be a return to San Jose, which just placed starter Antero Niittymaki on injured reserve.

There's also the possibility that a rival in the tight Western Conference could snatch him up just to prevent the stacked Wings from picking him up.

Either way, with Chris Osgood out until at least March, it'd be nice to have Nabokov back there if Jimmy Howard suffers another injury. Joey MacDonald's not a bad third option, but he's a career AHLer for a reason.

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