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Updated at 1:35 w/ Devils news: Red Wings officially sign Nabokov, and now the wait begins

Per the Detroit Red Wings’ Twitter feed, the Red Wings have officially signed Evgeni Nabokov to a one-year deal at, per Capgeek.com, a pro-rated $570,000 salary (or $250,000 for the remainder of the season).  The Wings have to put him on waivers at 12 PM EST on Friday and he can be claimed until
Saturday at noon.  As previously noted, there’s a whole bunch of innuendo and absolutely no answers from Red Wings GM Ken Holland as to why he’s pursuing Nabokov…it’s safe to say that we’ll know why by Saturday, at which time it’s highly unlikely that Nabokov will be asking Drew Miller for his jersey number.

Update 10:36 PM: Per Fox Sports Detroit’s Mickey Redmond, Ken Holland popped into the booth as the buzzer went and said, yes, they have signed Nabokov, the deal was signed, paving the way possibly to bring him to Detroit but as Ken Daniels says he has to clear waivers first.  As far as Daniels is concerned, this has to do with insurance until Chris Osgood comes back—and because he might not be back at 100% when he returns mid-March—so the Wings have made an insurance signing and will see what happens.  Daniels also says that he can’t be sent to the AHL for a conditioning stint, nor can he be moved by the team that claims him, assuming that he is claimed.  Update again: Redmond also made a good point that the Wings can tempt a 3-headed goalie monster for about a month’s worth of regular season given that Nabokov hasn’t played in the NHL and is obviously motivated to prove that he’s still a capable goaltender—if he clears, anyway…

As I reported in my previous post, Sport-Express’s Igor Larin spoke to Nabkov’s Russian agent, Sergei Isakov, and then conveniently suggested that the Hurricanes and/or Senators would be the favorites for Nabokov in the waiver derby.

Update 10:55 PM: Herm Himself offers this, via TSN’s Bob McKenzie:

As @darrendreger reported much earlier today, Nabokov’s annual salary in DET is $570K.
...
Nabokov’s agent Don Meehan sent a letter to all NHL teams prior to signing saying Nabokov wants to be able to compete as a starter.
...
Nabokov has a No Move clause in his contract with DET. Cannot be put on waivers (after tomorrow, which is req’d) without his permission.

An interesting suggestion from Jeff Marek:

@TSNBobMcKenzie that must mean Osgood is done for the season.

My bottom-of-my-foot-long-goatee line: One way or another, speculation doesn’t do us much good until we find out whether Nabokov clears waivers.  I don’t expect him to do so.  If he does, then we can assume that Nabokov’s insurance and is going to allow Osgood to fully recover—and we can also start asking questions as to whether Osgood, who’s battled all sorts of groin injuries since the lockout, is tuckered out from the literal wear and tear and wants to retire, though it’s hard to believe that the Wings could re-sign Howard—and they will do just that—and afford to have Nabokov around next year as a similar sort of insurance policy.

If he doesn’t, we can ponder whether Holland’s greasing the wheels for a trade deadline move (the Wings could use a depth defenseman and/or forward as usual), whether he’s going to get a mid-round draft pick in return from the team that signs him as “future considerations,” or whether he’s just repaying a favor to the GM of the team that claims him.

Until then, even given the fact that Wings GM Ken Holland is going to make comments to the Detroit press that will follow these comments sooner than later?  We’re gonna have to wait till noon on Saturday to find out what this move really means, if it means anything at all.

Update 11:04 PM: Per McKenzie, again:

If claimed on waivers by another team, Nabokov cannot be traded or waived again without DET having first option to take him back.

Update 11:14 PM: Per McKenzie, one more time:

Just to clarify, Nabokov cannot be traded because he would have to go back to the wings on waivers. My point is he can’t go to 3rd party…without the Wings having the chance to take him back first. Did not word it correctly the first time. Sorry for confusion.

Update 11:20 PM: Pension Plan Puppets has a fantastic waiver primer if you’re as confused about the issue as I am.

Update 11:36 PM: Take this, from the CBC’s Tim Wharnsby, at face value (via Elliotte Friedman):

Look for Detroit to work out a deal with the Devils to claim Nabokov on waivers to avoid the St. Louis troubles with Svatos and Wellwood.

Well this little bit from The Sporting News’s Craig Custance is interesting…Will Nabokov be claimed?

“My guess is no,” one NHL general manager told Sporting News.

So what would that mean about Osgood’s recovery from hernia surgery?

“It all depends on how good a healer he is, how quickly he can get back and get ready,” Osgood’s agent, Roland Thompson, told Sporting News on Thursday evening. “Hernias are a tough thing, they can drag on for a long time, especially if you’re a goalie.”

Osgood was on a treadmill for 45 minutes the day after his operation, but the addition of Nabokov would ease any pressure on him to rush back into the lineup. In fact, it might help the Red Wings’ salary-cap situation if he stayed on long-term injured reserve.  Osgood, like Howard, is an unrestricted free agent after this season but is more likely to follow the Kirk Maltby path and join the team’s front office rather than play elsewhere if there isn’t room on the roster.

“He’s in Detroit’s long-term plans,” Thompson said. “But it’s too early to speculate. He still has a desire to compete.”

What about this whole, “Howard isn’t good enough” stuff?

“Their goaltending has been good, the times I’ve seen Howard play,” Chicago GM Stan Bowman told Sporting news. “I don’t think there’s an issue in goal in Detroit. They’re just looking for stability or insurance for injuries. They have a good goalie already.”

I don’t have any complaints about Howard…The Wings have given up more shots and have been quite sloppy in their own end, and yes, he’s got to improve his technique a wee little bit because he’s been picked apart by video scouting and there’s no surprise factor anymore, but he still wins games and is on track to win 30-40 consistently…

Update, midnight-ish: The Free Press’s George Sipple asked Wings coach Mike Babcock what he thought about the Nabokov signing, and maybe it was the quick flight back to Detroit (N682RW is still in St. Louis as of midnight) or the exhaustion of the last two months’ of crazy scheduling talking, but Babcock offered a sharp retort:

“My comment is, he’s not our player, so when he becomes our player, then I’ll talk about him,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said when asked about Nabokov following a 4-3 overtime win over the Blues tonight at the Scottrade Center. “Even though we’ve signed him – until he clears waivers and becomes a Red Wings, there’s no sense talking about him. St. Louis has been through it a couple times already. Why would we talk about a player that’s not ours?”

Wings general manager Ken Holland also declined to further comment on tonight. Don Meehan, Nabokov’s agent, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Holland did agree, as he told MLive’s Ansar Khan:

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland declined comment, saying, “He’s nobody’s player until noon on Saturday.’‘

Kris Draper agrees with Khan’s insider’s suggestion that there’s no way in hell that Nabokov will dress in Detroit on Saturday…

“That was a bit of a surprise, but there’s still a long way in the whole process before that becomes a reality that he’s here,” Draper said. “I don’t think there’s too many teams who are going to be willing to help us out (by not claiming him).  You just have to look down the hall here (at the Blues) and see what happens with a team signing a player and him going through waivers. We’ll have to see what the process is.”

Draper also said that Osgood’s on that six-to-eight-week sports hernia surgery recovery schedule (TM)...

“He’s seen the way I responded and I basically had the same surgery (Oct. 21), same doctor (William Meyers),” Draper said. “He’s just going to go through the same protocol. I’ve seen him a couple of times since the surgery, he’s moving around, he’s walking.’‘

And even Howard got a bit testy when asked about Nabokov’s status as a starting netminder who might split starts with #35:

“I don’t need anybody to push me,’’ Howard said. “I push myself. I work hard in practice every single day and I just go out there and try to win games for the guys.’‘

Update 12:21 AM: More from Paul on the Devils angle:

@Ledger_NJDevils: Devils may claimn goalie Evgeni Nabokov and then put him on waivers so Red Wings can claim him and complete their acquisition.

Update 12:24 AM: Fanhouse’s Bruce Ciskie believes that the Blackhawks, Lightning, Sharks, Blue Jackets and Thrashers could all put claims in on Nabokov.

Update 1:36 AM: I’m a night owl, so I usually don’t have headaches at this hour, but this is just…too…confusing…Per the Newark Star-Ledger’s Rich Chere:

The Devils may claim goaltender Evgeni Nabokov on waivers and then put him back on waivers Friday so that he can sign with the Detroit Red Wings.

Nabokov started this season in the Kontinental Hockey League, so he must clear waivers to play in the NHL.

The Devils would be doing the Red Wings a favor by claiming Nabokov and then putting him back on waivers. The Red Wings have reportedly agreed to a one-year, $570,000 deal with the veteran goalie.

So this might not be done till Monday, because a player who’s placed back on waivers on a Saturday hangs out there for 48 hours…

Update 9:11 AM: Draper reiterated his comments to the Free Press’s George Sipple, who noted that Jimmy Howard’s at least keeping an open mind about the possible addition…

Asked about the Nabokov signing, Howard said: “That’s out of my hands. That’s up to management and what they think. If he can help us, he can help us.”

Asked whether he thought Nabokov, 35, was signed as insurance or to push him, Howard said: “I don’t need anyone to push me. I push myself. I work hard in practice every single day, and I just go out there and try to win games for the guys.”

As the narrative continues, my cobbled-together-in-the-middle-of-the-night theory as to what motivated Holland to sign Nabokov is as follows:

The best educated guess I can make is that Holland chose to talk contract turkey with Don Meehan when Howard suffered that stinger off his knee, probably fearing that Howard had broken his right patella.  When the Wings found out that Howard would be okay, Holland and Meehan simply chose to continue cobbling together a cap-friendlier contract, with the Red Wings crossing their fingers that Nabokov will clear waivers and add depth and Meehan canvassing the rest of the league with a, “My client wants a starting job” fax or email to let them know that Nabokov would sign with and then be waived by an NHL team.

In this scenario, Holland may or may not be doing another GM a favor in exchange for mid-round draft pick “considerations” down the line and/or some sort of trade wheel-greasing, but the overriding goal is to simply see the process through for Meehan, Nabokov and the sake of the Wings’ team depth.

Update 9:15 AM: The Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell adds this from Holland:

Holland said the move to sign Nabokov wasn’t prompted by some setback for Osgood, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

“Everything I’ve been told he’s right on schedule,” Holland said. “The surgery went well. He is rehabbing. All indications are everything went well.  March (return), that’s the hope.  Can’t read the future. Barring any setbacks he’s six to eight weeks.”
...
“Whatever helps the team, helps the team,” Howard said of the sudden developments.  “But I think for the most part everyone in here is planning on having (Osgood) back whenever he’s due.”

Update 1:35 PM per Tom Gulitti:

Lamoriello said Devils will not put in waiver claim for Nabokov.

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Comments

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Trish's avatar

holding my breath - turning blue

is it worth it?

Posted by Trish from PalmBeachCntyFL on 01/21/11 at 01:36 AM ET

ITDeuce's avatar

I wonder where he’ll end up.  I’ll shat myself if it’s Detroit.

Posted by ITDeuce from The Sunny High Desert on 01/21/11 at 01:36 AM ET

stayouttamalibu's avatar

I have no idea why this happened.

Posted by stayouttamalibu from California on 01/21/11 at 01:37 AM ET

calquake's avatar

a whole bunch of innuendo

And we all know “innuendo” is an Italian suppository. cheese

Posted by calquake on 01/21/11 at 01:37 AM ET

Avatar

Weird.  I just can’t see this guy clearing waivers.

Posted by Django on 01/21/11 at 01:38 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Tick Tock ...

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 01/21/11 at 01:38 AM ET

TheRealYooper's avatar

i do not see anyway he clears wavers.

Posted by TheRealYooper from within sight of the edge of the Earth. on 01/21/11 at 01:38 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Check above.  I added some goodies.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/21/11 at 01:39 AM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

Wow, Ken may be right…“He’s a guy with something to prove.”

So true….

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 01/21/11 at 01:39 AM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Fascinating - - something more in the works; there has to be.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 01/21/11 at 01:41 AM ET

Osrt's avatar

No movement clause per NHL rule apparently.

Posted by Osrt on 01/21/11 at 01:41 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

If he’s got a no-movement, that’ll narrow the choices down. Long Island is a good bet. Washington, Toronto, Columbus perhaps. Wouldnt put it past Chicago either.  And of course there’s SJ, unless their relationship was that terrible when they parted ways last season.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 01/21/11 at 01:41 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

For the cap hit, I’lll retract my previous NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO comment.
Too bad he won’t clear.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 01/21/11 at 01:42 AM ET

Trish's avatar

so, Nabby has no say in where he ends up, correct?

shaky situation IMHO

Posted by Trish from PalmBeachCntyFL on 01/21/11 at 01:43 AM ET

calquake's avatar

If there’s a smarter GM than Tick-Tock in all of hockey I’d like to know who he is.  In Kenny I Trust… you should too.

Posted by calquake on 01/21/11 at 01:44 AM ET

Osrt's avatar

OT:

I think Hudler looked for the pass only because the D man moved his stick into the shooting lane and kept moving it back and forth.

Posted by Osrt on 01/21/11 at 01:46 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

The Kenny Holland Jedi Mind Tricks will faux with ya, won’t they.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 01/21/11 at 01:46 AM ET

calquake's avatar

looked for the pass only because the D man moved his stick into the shooting lane and kept moving it back and forth.

That’s what she said.

Posted by calquake on 01/21/11 at 01:47 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Can someone tell me why Detroit is doing all this work to sign a player for someone else?

NIttymakei just went on IR, and I have thi sgod-awful feeling he’s going to end back up in San “All Your Waiver Players Are Belong To Us” Jose.  And I swear to god if they do this and he ends up in the Western conference, I don’t think I’m ever going to forgive Holland….

Posted by Primis on 01/21/11 at 01:47 AM ET

Avatar

Add Anaheim, Buffalo, Carolina, and half the NHL to that list.  Anybody with a journeyman backup has nothing to lose by picking him up.  Again, weird move.

Posted by Django on 01/21/11 at 01:48 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Nabokov’s agent Don Meehan sent a letter to all NHL teams prior to signing saying Nabokov wants to be able to compete as a starter

McKenzie

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 01/21/11 at 01:49 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Source: #Isles have discussed putting in waiver claim on G Evgeni Nabokov

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 01/21/11 at 01:50 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Good snag Herm.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/21/11 at 01:51 AM ET

calquake's avatar

Nabokov’s agent Don Meehan sent a letter to all NHL teams prior to signing saying Nabokov wants to be able to compete as a starter
McKenzie
Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 01/20/11 at 10:49 PM ET

Are ya listenin’ Jimmy?  3 foals a game isn’t going to cut it in the playoffs.  IF Nabby gets here it will provide a push for the young lad.  Not a bad idea.

Posted by calquake on 01/21/11 at 01:52 AM ET

torless's avatar

I hope he does get picked up by the Isles… ‘bout time everyone sees how overrated he really is.

Posted by torless on 01/21/11 at 01:54 AM ET

Puck's avatar

here is the NHL waiver priority list as of today:

New Jersey
Edmonton
NY Islanders
Ottawa
Toronto
Calgary
Buffalo
Florida
Columbus
Los Angeles
San Jose
Carolina
Atlanta
St. Louis
Minnesota
Anaheim
Chicago
Phoenix
Colorado
NY Rangers
Montreal
Nashville
Washington
Tampa Bay
Boston
Pittsburgh
Dallas
Detroit
Philadelphia
Vancouver

and according to capgeek, the following teams have cap space:

Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings
Anaheim Ducks
Buffalo Sabres
Los Angeles Kings
Columbus Blue Jackets
Dallas Stars
Phoenix Coyotes
Nashville Predators
Florida Panthers
Carolina Hurricanes
Tampa Bay Lightning
St. Louis Blues
Edmonton Oilers
Colorado Avalanche
Atlanta Thrashers
New York Islanders

Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 01/21/11 at 01:56 AM ET

calquake's avatar

Kenny to the NHL, “Watch me pull a rabbit outa my hat”.

Posted by calquake on 01/21/11 at 01:57 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Nabokov has a No Move clause in his contract with DET. Cannot be put on waivers (after tomorrow, which is req’d) without his permission.

Crazy talk, man.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 01/21/11 at 01:57 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

I trust Holland, but I’ll just shit if the Wings end up facing Nabby in the playoffs.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/21/11 at 01:58 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Keep in mind, if Nabokov is claimed by a team and Nabokov doesn’t like the situation, he can simply refuse to report and not play this year

McKenzie

WTF??

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 01/21/11 at 02:00 AM ET

Trish's avatar

soooooooo, 16 teams have to pass for us to get our money’s worth.  bad odds

Posted by Trish from PalmBeachCntyFL on 01/21/11 at 02:03 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Keep in mind, if Nabokov is claimed by a team and Nabokov doesn’t like the situation, he can simply refuse to report and not play this year

With that, I assume Kenny called NYI and EDM saying “don’t bother claiming him, he won’t play for you”.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 01/21/11 at 02:03 AM ET

torless's avatar

I trust Holland, but I’ll just shit if the Wings end up facing Nabby in the playoffs.

Why? Nabby is 8-17-2 against the Wings with 3.53GAA and .888 save pct.

Maybe Holland is just stacking the odds… come on Chicago, you know you want it.

Posted by torless on 01/21/11 at 02:04 AM ET

Osrt's avatar

Posted by Puck

Thanks for the list.

That’s a lot of teams to clear.

Posted by Osrt on 01/21/11 at 02:04 AM ET

Osrt's avatar

Keep in mind, if Nabokov is claimed by a team and Nabokov doesn’t like the situation, he can simply refuse to report and not play this year

With that, I assume Kenny called NYI and EDM saying “don’t bother claiming him, he won’t play for you”.

Posted by Guilherme

This is looking better and better.

Nabby couldn’t return to the KHL though, right?

Posted by Osrt on 01/21/11 at 02:08 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

Source: #Isles have discussed putting in waiver claim on G Evgeni Nabokov

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 01/20/11 at 11:03 PM ET

I don’t get this at all.  Why would the Isles claim Nabby on a 1 year deal?  They already traded Roloson, why would they pay any money for a veteran starter when they have no chance of making the playoffs?  The ONLY way I could see the Isles claiming him is if they want to trade him for prospects/picks.  Maybe that’s what Kenny has worked out, a sign/claim and trade with the Isles, where the Isles claim him and trade him to the Wings for a pick/prospect…

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 01/21/11 at 02:10 AM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Kenny doesn’t waste his time….
Nabokov will wind up a wing in the end, even if it means trading for him with the team that claims him.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 01/21/11 at 02:13 AM ET

Trish's avatar

where the Isles claim him and trade him to the Wings for a pick/prospect…

thought he couldn’t be traded ?

Posted by Trish from PalmBeachCntyFL on 01/21/11 at 02:13 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Are ya listenin’ Jimmy?  3 foals a game isn’t going to cut it in the playoffs.  IF Nabby gets here it will provide a push for the young lad.  Not a bad idea.

What do horses have to do with Nabokov?? wink

Posted by Evilpens on 01/21/11 at 02:14 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Question:  What is the Difference between no movement and no trade clause in hockey?

Answer:  A no-trade clause requires a player’s consent before a trade involving that player is made. If a player has a no-movement clause, the player cannot be traded, waived, or sent down to the minors without that player’s approval. In both cases, however, a player is not protected from being bought out by the player’s current team.

Just wanted to clarify for myself…

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 01/21/11 at 02:16 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com