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The Malik Report

Chesnokov checks in with estranged Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov

Former San Jose Sharks and for-two-days Red Wings goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who remains unwilling to play for the New York Islanders, spoke to Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov about playing for Russia at the World Championships next month, as well as his playing status going forward, and Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov provides us with an expert translation and sneak peak of Nabokov’s…intriguing…comments. The Russian Hockey Federation was apparently willing to insure Nabokov’s contract so that he can start for them in Slovakia, very probably during the end of the NHL season, but it was the FHR that did the smoothing-over of any issues with the Islanders, not Nabokov:

“The Islanders are aware of everything. I told them that I was going to play for the national team. No one stood on my way. And the [Russian Hockey Federation] will take care of all the formalities,” Nabokov told Lysenkov today. “I didn’t personally call [the Islanders].”

Nabokov added: “I don’t want to elaborate on this topic at this time. The process with the Islanders is ongoing. My words may be misunderstood, people will reach conclusions…”

After the return to the United States in December, Nabokov practiced in California and had “a few NHL clubs interested” in him, according to Nabokov himself. And then Nabokov signed with Detroit.

“Detroit is a special team. A lot of players want to play there,” Nabokov told Lysenkov. It is a class club that wins often. It is always a contender for the Stanley Cup. … To be on the same team with Datsyuk, Zetterberg and especially Lidstrom. How do these people train? It may only seem that on the ice everyone works the same. But in reality it is not the case.”

Asked what his take was on whether the Islanders will grieve his contract and retain his rights for next season, Nabokov replied: “It’s not known at this time. But [the Islanders] have this right. If they decide that they need Nabokov, they will be able to do that.”


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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.