After signing a one-year, $570,000 deal late last night with the Detroit Red Wings, goaltender Evgeni Nabokov is on waivers as of 12 p.m. Eastern. Now the waiting game begins for the Wings, who hope he clears the 24-hour waiver period unclaimed.
As we've already discussed, it's likely that Nabokov gets claimed by somebody. Which team will be the one, though? It's not a first-come, first-serve type thing. The New Jersey Devils, as the worst team in the league, have first priority to make a claim, and according to the Newark Star-Ledger, the Devils may put in a claim to help out the Wings.
The Devils may claim goaltender Evgeni Nabokov on waivers and then put him back on waivers Friday so that he can sign with the Detroit Red Wings.
Wouldn't it seem easier for the Devils to simply trade him to the Wings after making their claim? Yes, probably, but that's against the rules. According to Section 13.20 (b) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a player cannot be traded for the remainder of the season once he's been claimed off waivers by a club.
If the Devils claim Nabokov and then waive him, though, other teams will hold priority over the Wings, so it doesn't seem so simple that the Wings will get him at all.