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New York Islanders claim Evgeni Nabokov off waivers from Detroit


James O’Brien

While the terms of the contract have not yet been confirmed, the New York Islanders claimed goalie Evgeni Nabokov according to Craig Custance. This confirms fears that he wouldn’t get through the process to join the Detroit Red Wings.

Financial details of the deal haven’t become clear just yet, although it sounds like he might have a no trade clause (rumor has it that the Red Wings tried to make him a less desirable waiver claim by placing such a clause in the deal). Joe passed along reports yesterday that it is a one-year deal.

Update: Chris Botta writes that the deal will earn Nabokov about $250,000 for the rest of this season.

The Islanders have been rolling with Kevin Poulin and Rick DiPietro in net with Nathan Lawson filling in during DiPietro’s inevitable injuries since the team traded Dwayne Roloson to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Nabokov brings instant name recognition to the Islanders net and still has some life in his legs at 35. The question is: how will he react to playing behind a leaky defense and with a weak team after years of playing behind superior squads with the San Jose Sharks?

There’s also the possibility that the Islanders might make a further move with Nabokov, but it’s not crazy to wonder if the team might be better off keeping him around at a cheap price. One other thing to consider: some wonder if Nabokov might not report to the cellar dwelling Islanders; if that happens, he won’t be able to play in the NHL this season.