Nabakov Comes Knocking But New York Nick Him
So the high-profile attempt by the Red Wings to snatch Evgeni Nabakov takes another twist, this time it’s New York Islanders GM Garth Snow who says he expects Nabakov to play in an Islanders uniform. Can’t help but think he’s a little optimistic.
For those of you who haven’t been aware of the saga surrounding this, I’ll fill you in the details.
The Red Wings have a goalie crisis. A huge crisis. A ten-story, neon lit, open all hours, valet parking affair with a massive sign that can be seen for miles around saying “THIS IS A LARGE CRISIS”. Let’s go through the goalie option shall we?
Howard – Injured knee, and now he’s back, Jimmy is really struggling.
Osgood – Injured groin. Hernia operation means he’ll be out another few weeks.
MacDonald – Waaaaay out of his depth. Conceding goals he really shouldn’t be, and looking very shaky when opposition players crashed the net.
McCollum – Was backup for MacDonald in Grand Rapids, promptly broke his hand in training with the Wings.
Pearce – Is about 9 years old, plays for Toledo, and looks absolutely and utterly terrified when he’s on the bench. He’s currently backing up Howard.
Ken Holland decided he’d seen enough. Maybe Pearce’s tiny, tear-filled eyes finally broke him, and the Red Wings went goalie hunting. Out in Russia, Evgeni Nabokov was looking for a new team, and so he got talking to the Wings. Nabby and Ken came to a deal, a $570k contract, with undoubtedly multiple playoff clauses, as well as a No Move Clause (NMC), and a clause that stopped him ever being sent down to the AHL. Holland hoped this would put off the lower teams from picking him up as Nabokov entered the 24hr waivers.
The New York Islanders claimed Nabokov early on, and GM Garth Snow said he was thrilled. Nabokov certainly wasn’t. When Snow rang, and introduced himself, Nabokov simply hung up. Not a sign that you respect someone. Anyway, Nabokov’s agent tried to smooth things over and insisted Nabby hadn’t realized who was calling.
Snow is now playing hard ball. Nabokov has publicly refused to play for the Islanders, stating that he’d rather stay at home. Snow is saying he can’t wait to see Nabby in an Islanders uniform. Technically, Snow holds all the cards here, and could, if he so chose, hold out the contract that means Nabokov is an Islanders player until the end of next season. Therefore, Evgeni would be paid a wage, but he’d stay at home and eat donuts…a bit like Kyle Wellwood does.
So we’re currently at stalemate. Snow says Nabby is playing for the New York Islanders. Nabby says he’s definitely not. And after all of this, the Red Wings still are missing a decent fricking goalie!