Nabokov: Villain or Victim?
Nabokov Islanders Snow
But what about Snow's responsibility in this matter? It was only a few weeks ago he traded away veteran net minder Dwayne Roloson to theTampa Bay Lightning for prospect Ty Wishart. A clear sign that the Islanders are thinking past this season and into the future. A state of mind that players and fans of the team may not like but one that is reasonable in the big picture of the ailing franchise.
Then in the middle of last week the Islanders put in a claim for 35 year old Russian goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Nabokov a proven vet decided to return to the NHL with playoff aspirations, something that had gone largely unsatisfied during his time in San Jose. The Detroit Red Wings signed him to a contract prorated at $575,000 for the remainder of the season but in order to join the club Nabokov had to clear waivers because a player is subject to waivers in the NHL if they had played in another professional organization during the current season (Nabokov started the season in the KHL).
The question therefore arises, somewhat naturally, to the lack of competence of general manager Garth Snow. He had a player of similar value and experience that fulfilled the same role Nabokov would but decided in the best interest of the organization to trade that player only a few weeks prior. Nabokov would have had made it clear to people in the hockey world that he only wanted to return to a playoff bound team and one which he would get an opportunity toplay a few games.
Regardless of the fit or player's wishes Snow put in a claim for the player, something he had the opportunity to think over for a few days.The fact that he didn't contact Nabokov before hand shows just how inept the Islanders organization remains. Not only did Snow do Nabokov a disservice by his actions but he now holds the fate of the player in his hands. Could anything be less fair? You would have to think given hindsight young superstar John Tavares would have liked the option of not reporting given the mess this franchise will remain in with Wang and Snow at the helm.