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Nabokov Reporting To The Island


Evgeni Nabokov Statue Of Liberty Save – TendersLounge Files

It appears at last that disgruntled and suspended former All-Star goaltender Evgeni Nabokov will finally join the New York Islanders organization ,as he announced Monday that he will attend Islanders training camp.

Nabokov’s words were, “Yes, I do plan on attending, now I will have full preparation for the season.”

After playing 10 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Nabokov decided that he would take his talents back to Russia to play for SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian KHL. When things did not work out for Nabokov, he decided to jump ship and return to the NHL where was signed to a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings, but he had to clear waivers in order to return.

As part of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement anybody who plays in a professional league before signing an NHL contract must in face clear waivers. When Nabokov attempted to clear waivers, he was quickly swooped up by the New York Islanders.

A very disgruntled Nabokov decided he would not appear a part of the New York Islanders organization and therefore was suspended for his actions. But, in reality there was no need to blame Nabokov as the Islanders were absolutely atrocious last season. The same applied to Nabokov for this season, he could attend training camp, or once again sit out this season. But, with things looking more positive for the organization this season, he will attend at his own will.

Nabokov also claimed that the break between St. Petersburg and his re-entrance to the NHL required time to get prepared to play, but with the situation of the Islanders goaltender, he had to play right away because of many injuries. But, Nabokov claimed he needed three or four weeks to prepare.

“Any time you go to a new group, you want to be welcomed,” Nabokov said. “I’m not sure everyone understands the situation. Players can play five, 10 minutes a night, but goalies have to play the whole game. I wasn’t ready and the situation wasn’t right. I wish we had better communication between the Islanders and me, but it was a tough decision for me that I couldn’t help.”

This season, there are quite a few good expectations coming from the Long Island organization therefore things look more positive for Nabokov to join the club rather than one who was dead last in the Eastern Conference, and appeared to steal him from a high powered Detroit Red Wings club where he had intended to play. Hopefully, the club attends that Nabokov can by the leader which the team needs, and finally solidify their goaltending situation.

Adam Reid
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