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Long Road Home

The details are not clear, but Nabby is no longer with SKA.  Pavel Lysenkov says he is now a free agent, that the contract was canceled:

Don Meehan says Nabby’s on his way home to San Jose.  I am sure he knows the way.

“Family matters” they say?  I am not entirely surprised.   I think life in Russia is changing fast.

While I was there, I met some expats, the overpaid sort, the ones who don’t know how the Russians they work with live, the ones who don’t realize their soft toilet paper is a gross indulgence, the ones who think it is normal on any continent to pay $20 for a cup of coffee… those kind.  The kind who are usually the last to know something is going on in the country they are “living in.”

When I met them, they were whining about how the Russian government was making things uncomfortable and inconvenient for their companies:  the Russians expected them to fill out all the same forms any foreigner filled out, and failed to expedite their deliveries and demanded the same bribes other people paid.

I don’t think Nabby’s family would be that naive.  Nabby probably still knows some real Russians, he would at least have the relevant data.  But when the whiny, corporate glass case imports notice the heat, you know something is burning.  Probably the expat party is over.

It isn’t that anyone should get such special treatment just for being an American, but without it, Russia can be a pain in the arse to live in. If you go there expecting all that special treatment and then don’t get it, that makes for a rude awakening.

Add to that the political undercurrents ebbing and flowing right now, and being an American might be downright unpleasant.  Still, it is unfortunate for Nabby’s wife to take the stupid rabble heat on this side of the pond like she’s the hot house flower.  I will give her and the kids the benefit of the doubt and assume things were fairly unpleasant.

Also, Nabby’s career was suffering.  Really there wasn’t mush to recommend staying.

Is there a place for him in the NHL?  Sure, some teams have been disappointed with their goalies but I don’t know that anyone has the cap space or the will to sign Nabby to a nice contract.  Not with his recent KHL performance as his only leverage.  Sure, they might know he is capable of better, or suspect it, but that is worth diddly in contract negotiations.  I would say Nabby has zero leverage right now.

So if he really wants to play, he is going to have to prove it by signing some cheap short term contract with anyone who will offer it to him.  Like Turco did.  Like Nemo did.  Like Leighton did, like Theodore did.  It doesn’t matter whether he perceives his talent level to be on a par with those or not.  They signed NHL contracts in time, he didn’t. He will have to take what he can get, if anything is offered.

Who knows, this might be liberating.  It might be just what he needs to get back in the game.


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