04 April 2011
Evgeni Nabokov is looking to play in the World Championships, but reports indicate the New York Islanders will not let him. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Nabokov needs the Islanders permission to play for Russia.
His original intention was to play for the Detroit Red Wings, but Nabokov was claimed off waivers by the Islanders in January. He subsequently refused to report to Long Island, forcing the league and the Islanders to suspend the 35 year old goaltender until he reported to the team.
Per TSN’s Dreger Report:
Because Nabokov refused to report to Long Island and was subsequently suspended, both the team and league believe the Isles can toll his contract for the 2011-2012 season. This tolling potential is the reason why the Islanders denied the Russian Federation's request to allow Nabokov to play in an exhibition game last week with their Russian national team and the impact his playing in the Worlds may also have on dragging Nabokov's rights to next season presents a gamble that the Islanders, at this point, aren't willing to take.
The one concern I have with the Islanders tolling Nabokov is how they will work the goalie rotation. Should the Islanders toll his contract and he actually shows up, the Isles will have a similar problem they had with Biron and Roloson.
It would not be fair for Al Montoya to have to play in the minors next year, especially since he’s played so well this year, and Garth Snow would not want to lose Nabokov for nothing either. Nabokov would have to go through waivers to be sent down to the AHL, where he would certainly be claimed by another team. Of course this scenario would all rest on if Rick Dipietro is healthy or not.
The fact that the Islanders won’t let Nabokov participate in the Worlds raises some questions and it will be interesting to see how this continues to play out.
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