Nabokov Suspended by Islanders

Just like how many guessed that Nabokov would be claimed by the Islanders, we were also correct in guessing he’d fail to report and ultimately wind up suspended by the team.

Our comrade Evgeni decided he didn’t like his “raw deal”, so he can now sit comfortably on his duff in his lavish California home pondering what his next move could be – until at least July, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The option to “toll” his contract still exists for Garth Snow and the Islanders, so he may eventually wind up on Long Island even of he’d prefer not to.

The catch with tolling a contract, it would have to get through both the NHL and the Players Union (NHLPA) first. If it does, dear Evgeni would be on the hook for the majority of NEXT season instead of the remainder of THIS season.

You wanted to play the game, check – your move Evgeni.

Speaking of games, an interesting theory to rise out of this debacle – what if Garth Snow played this situation the exact way he wanted? For arguments sake, let’s say that he heard rumblings that Nabokov was on the verge of signing and knew he’d have to clear waivers. By filing a claim, we know it prevented other teams (even KEY teams in the Western Conference playoff race) from acquiring the goaltender. But what if he flat out knew he’d refuse to report. Is Garth Snow savvy enough to parlay a holdout for a bargain basement price into a contract for 2011/12? What’s more, what if he was savvy enough to get 4 months of good hockey out of Nabokov next season and then flip that sweet contract to a contender for a cap clearing player or players and picks?

These are certainly things that make me go hmm.

Michael Schuerlein

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