23 April 2011
Yesterday it was learned that the Islanders would toll Evgeni Nabokov’s contract for next season. As many fans remember the Islanders claimed the Russian net minder off re-entry waivers for the bargain price of $570,000. He refused to report to Long Island because he did not want to play for a non play-off contending team and was suspended by the team and league.
Today, Sovsports.ru published an interview with the goaltender where he said if he would show up to New York Islanders training camp.
“Why? I can start training camp in New York,” Nabokov said when asked by Sovsport.ru if he wasn’t going to play until he was traded by the Islanders.
Trading Nabokov is thought to be the best decision by some for the Islanders, who could explore trading him after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Depending on how well Nabokov plays during the World Championships and what teams would be able to make the best offer to Garth Snow.
In the mean time the suggestion that he would be willing to report to training camp should the Islanders hold onto him is a sigh of relief in a way, because it would be one less head ache for the Organization.
He also maintains his reasoning for not show up to Long Island, saying he did not see any reason of showing up since the team had missed the playoffs and he had not played in a month and a half. But he contests that there is no ill feelings towards the organization or any players.
“There is no hostility to the team and the players,” Nabokov said in the interview.
The latest information is good news for the Islanders, because, as fore mentioned, it will be one less thing to worry about should the team not move him. It gives the team the luxury of being able to hold on to him if they need a top caliber goaltender, due to injuries to Montoya, DP or any other goaltending reserve.
But it will be interesting to see what Snow does with Nabokov after the playoffs are over, if he keeps or trades him.
Note: Newsday reports that Evgeni Nabokov will be allowed to play in the World Championships for the Russian team. Rebuking a report previously posted here on Islanders Hockey Blog.
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