January 22, 2011
UPDATE: Katie Strang of Newsday reports that Nabokov's agent Don Meehan confirmed that "Nabokov will not report to Islanders." She later grabbed a quote from GM Garth Snow: "We claimed him off waivers, he has a [Standard Player Contract]. My position is that he's a New York Islander and we look forward to having him"
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The most intriguing waiver claim of the 2010-11 NHL season ended as the New York Islanders claimed goaltender Evgeni Nabokov two days after he signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings.
Nabokov will make a pro-rated $250,000 for the remainder of the season and provide the Islanders depth with a veteran netminder after Nathan Lawson(notes) was injured in the first period last night against Buffalo and Rick DiPietro(notes), well, is Mr. Glass in goalie pads.
The issue of whether or not he'd report to the Islanders has already been discussed, but Nabokov's agent, Don Meehan, told Ansar Khan of the Detroit Free Press this week that no matter where his client ended up, he would report. Whatever team claimed him would help give Nabokov an audition for when he becomes a free agent once again.
The contract Nabokov signed in Detroit gives him a no-movement clause and he must agree to a decision to place him back on waivers. New York cannot trade Nabokov unless he's put through waivers again.
At the price of Nabokov's deal, there was no hope that he'd remain with the Red Wings. Either a team in the Western Conference would pick him up for nothing to block Detroit from adding him or a team like the Islanders would make a claim to help their goaltending situation. The Islanders seem like an odd landing for Nabokov given their place in the standings and the fact they're on target for yet another lottery pick.