In a pretty shocking development this afternoon, goaltender Evgeni Nabokov won't report to the New York Islanders after the team claimed him off waivers Saturday from the Detroit Red Wings. Most seemed to believe that the 35-year-old veteran would report as a way to get playing time in an audition for an NHL job next season.
In fact, as pointed out by Chris Botta at Islanders Point Blank...
His agent, Don Meehan, went on record to Bob McKenzie declaring that Nabokov would report to the team that acquired him on waivers. His audition for a contract for next season will be with the Islanders.
A change of heart, it seems. Granted, the fall from Detroit to the Island is a brutally heartbreaking one, and there's not even a guarantee that Nabokov would have received ample playing time in New York. Goaltender Rick DiPierto, if healthy, will get most starts the rest of the way.
Two things can happen now. The Islanders may suspend Nabokov for not reporting, or they may simply waive him again. If they choose the latter, the other teams that put a claim in for the goaltender on Saturday will have first crack at him, starting with the team lowest in the standings. Those teams aren't publicly known, however.
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