Where will Nabby go? Looks like nowhere. I mean, everyone seems to understand why he would not want to play for the Islanders, but if I figured out they would put in a claim for him before it happened, then I imagine he could have too, and certainly Meehan could have. So feigning surprise only makes me think someone is lying or else is a lot dumber than I thought.
“…It’s just that I’m at the point in my career where I want to help a team win in the playoffs. I don’t see how I could help the Islanders or what I could do for them. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. And I hope they understand that.” -ESPN NY
Oddly, Nabby may have helped the Islanders’ GM by refusing the… err… offer.
Although there were credible reports from Newsday as early as Thursday stating the Islanders’ interest in Evgeni Nabokov, his representatives never reached out to the club during the waiver process, a pair of sources have confirmed to Point Blank. -NYI Point Blank
By mishandling it so badly, the Nabokov camp made Snow look pretty good for a moment. What Snow makes of that remains to be seen.
I don’t think Nabby has a leg to stand on if he doesn’t play for the Islanders. We’re talking what, a few months here? Weeks? Yes, he could get hurt. No one has suggested that is a concern but it is the ONLY reason I can think of with any weight for choosing to not play with an NHL team if you want to play in the NHL. But the nonsense about how it could hurt his stats for later contract negotiations just doesn’t hold up.
Fans may make a lot of wins and losses, but anyone looking for a good goalie is going to be able to see if a goalie is making a lot of saves in losing games. Could a GM use a bad win-loss record to leverage a lower salary? Of course but, WTF? Nabby just walked away from a six million dollar contract, clearly money is not all that important to him. And he was willing to play for $570k. Sure, that was for the Wings, for one year, but still.
To me, going to play for the Islanders would be an invaluable gesture of good faith to the league. Whether or not one thinks Nabby was run out of the league or he abandoned it, he is the one coming back, he needs to make the conciliatory gesture. The NHL may not deserve it, but that would only strengthen his image. Sometimes you just have to show charity to the undeserving to prove you are not the bad guy.
Maybe Meehan has a trick up his sleeve, but his recent performance for this particular client doesn’t give me reason to assume that any such trick will benefit Nabby.
The long and the short of it is, either Nabokov does or he doesn’t want to play in the NHL again. The Islanders are within their rights to insist he play for them or play for no one. No Stanley Cup contender can get at him through the waiver barrier. He can either play for a team at the bottom of the standings or sit out the rest of the season.
He has said he would be willing to do the latter. He may have other concerns unrelated to what sort of team he wants to play for. In that case, he should tell Meehan to put his file on the shelf until he is ready to play.
Because if, as he has stated, and then retracted, he is ready to play, but not really…. well, if he is ready to play he should just go play. If not, he should step aside until that changes.