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Watch for Nabby to Sign With Wings on July 1

Here’s a prediction for all you frustrated with the re-entry waiver process for players who were free agents returning from a non-NHL professional team.  Watch for Chris Oswood to retire at season’s end and for the Wings to sign Nabokov once free agency begins on July 1.  He will be a great experienced back-up for Jimmy Howard.  Ken Holland and Jill Nill knew he would be taken in the waiver process.  This was all about building good will toward next year.

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CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Pierre LeBrun on espn.com has a good run-down of the Isles’ options:

So, what are the Islanders’ options if Nabokov doesn’t report? Here we go:

• They can suspend Nabokov for not reporting to the team.

• They can go to the NHL and say they want to trade Nabokov, but two things have to happen for any trade to happen: Nabokov would have to waive his no-movement clause and the Isles would have to put him back on the waiver wires, as stated in section 13.23 of the CBA. Only teams that put in an initial waiver claim for Nabokov this past Friday/Saturday would have access to the goalie during this waiver period.

• If he clears waivers again, all 29 teams would get to participate in a second waiver-wire process. The team that sits lowest in the standings has first priority here if multiple teams put in claims.

• If he were to clear waivers a third time (this is highly, highly unlikely), the Islanders would then be able to trade the netminder.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Saturday that another possiblity is the Isles could suspend Nabokov for rest of season and then argue to NHL that the goalie owes them the full one-year, $570,000 contract next season, citing the Alexei Yashin precedent in Ottawa.

Why would Snow just put Nabby back on waivers with out getting anything out of it? He wouldn’t. As LeBrun explained, it would be nearly impossible for the Isles to trade Nabby this season because of the convoluted waiver rules and the no-movement clause.

That leaves McKenzie’s play as Snow’s only viable option. The Isles suspend Nabby and hope that the NHL follows its own precedent from the Yashin case. (a good bet in my opinion) That means that Nabby will not be a UFA on July 1 unless he reports to the Isles this season. Then he is a UFA at the end of this season and can sign with Detroit.

Let’s say that McKenzie is right, Nabby never reports, the Isles suspend him and the NHL says Nabby owes the Isles next season under the same terms. If I understand the waiver rules (which I’m not claiming to do), The Isles could trade Nabby during the off-season without having to worry about waivers.

Nabby signed a 1 year, low-ball offer hoping to showcase his talents and sign a big UFA deal next summer. He’s only screwing himself by not reporting. If he reports, he’s a ufa in 2011, otherwise it’s 2012 at the earliest. By that time he will be closing in on 37 and not played hockey in 1.5 years.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 01/24/11 at 05:58 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Is there any deadline in which Nabokov must report? I suggest he should report towards the end of the season thereby forcing NYI to un-suspend him. This would then, in turn, allow him to get around the Yashin precedent and regain his UFA status for July 1st.
The way I’m thinking is that as long as he reports two weeks before season end, he met his remaining obligation to the Isles without having played a game (because of the need to get into game condition) and he regains his UFA status.
I don’t know. If it were me, that’s what I’d do.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 01/24/11 at 07:29 PM ET

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