Evgeni Nabokov seems pretty content on not becoming an Islander. So much so, the former All-Star and Vezina Trophy finalist has now been suspended by the New York Islanders for the remainder of the season.
The decision by Islanders GM Garth Snow to suspend Nabokov comes as a direct result of Nabby refusing to report to the Islanders after the team claimed him on Thursday.
“I think I’m going to stay home for now, I’m sticking with my decision,” Nabokov said Sunday. “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.”
Nabokov was originally set to sign with the Red Wings after he signed a one-year contract last Friday. The Wings had to wait and see if another NHL team would claim him on waivers within a 24-hour period, and much to everyone’s surprise, the Islanders picked him up.
But now things are getting messy. If the Islanders wanted to try to trade him, he would have had to first been offered to the two teams below the Islanders in the standings at the time of the claim — the Devils and Oilers. If both of those teams didn’t want him, he would then clear waivers for the whole league again before a trade could be completed. Confused yet? The Islanders also have the option to “toll” his contract, which means it would be pushed back until next season. He would then have a “no-move clause” (?) in his contract and then be forced through the same convoluted waiver process in order to be traded.
The biggest lesson to be learned in all of this: maybe Nabokov shouldn’t have left the NHL to go over and play in Russia for more money.