Jun 26, 2013, 6:27 PM EDT
When the New York Islanders began their relationship with goalie Evgeni Nabokov, he tried his best not to play for the team. Now it sounds like the shoe is on the other foot.
New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple reports that the 37-year-old will probably be allowed to hit the free agent market on July 5, even though the Russian netminder now seems to embrace Long Island.
“We couldn’t find the middle ground right now but I never close the door on anything,” Nabokov said. “That’s where we’re at. I’m still hopeful something will get done.”
Nabokov was a workhorse for the Islanders in 2013, playing in 41 regular season games and six postseason contests. His numbers were lousy in the playoffs (4.44 GAA, .842 save percentage), but he provided solid reliability during the season (2.50 GAA, .910 save percentage).
He could end up being one of the more interesting free agent cases to follow, as his name recognition might help him land a starting gig while his age and other factors may force him to settle for a backup job – among other possibilities.
- Lightning ‘answer the challenge’ in Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final 2
- Vigneault: McDonagh was playing with a broken foot 12
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers 63
- The Ducks got Kesler for a game like Saturday’s 31
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 54
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 13
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 46
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 18
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 10
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (77)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (67)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)