Islanders Blog: No Good Nabokov

By Nick Colombo
» More Columns

Evgeni Nabokov didn’t board the second flight the Islanders booked for him to come to Long Island – so they suspended him. Honestly, it’s a shame that that’s the worst the Isles can do to him. Because the truth is Nabokov is a self centered jackass and an unnecessary embarrassment to the Islanders, and I never ever want to see him touch the ice in an Isles uniform.

First, the Isles have endured all this embarrassment for a guy they don’t even need. Kevin Poulin proved again Tuesday night that he has the talent to be the future, and more experience in the NHL can only advance his development. Granted, Rick DiPietro’s injuries are a continued concern, but with Nathan Lawson in the AHL the Isles at least have a capable warm body to play should they need one.

Don’t get me wrong; I understand what Garth Snow was trying to do here. With the unstable health of DiPietro and the youthful inexperience of Poulin, it’d be nice to have a solid goaltender around. Also, kudos to Garth for trying to ensure that the Islanders remain at least competitive for the fans that still tune in for the rest of the season.

Unfortunately, Garth’s good intentions don’t outweigh how frustrating this entire situation is. Nabokov’s refusal to join the Isles has put the team at the top of headlines again with more bad news. His selfishness has caused the team to look, yet again, like a team NHL players don’t want to play for. He’s caused nothing but more negativity for a team that doesn’t need more negativity.

So thank the good lord the Islanders suspended him. Thankfully, now we can all sit back and know that Nabokov will spend the rest of this season freezing his butt off in Russia, where the closest he will get to the NHL playoffs is watching it on TV. As for next year, my advice to Garth is not even to bother “tolling” his contract so he has to come back. He’s a jackass, and once the Islanders are done ending this season for him, I don’t want to see him ever again.

Questions or Comments? Send them my way at or leave the below…

pixy Islanders Blog: No Good Nabokov
  • Justin

    um, he shouldn’t be on your team anyway… Detroit did the leg work to get the guy, he should be in Detroit, so I don’t blame him for not showing up.

    It’s better to stay at home with friends and family (and collect un-taxed cash from the KHL) than to go to a struggling club.

  • Alan Smithee

    Keep him suspended and toll the contract into next season until he shows up. Best case: you have a capable goalie who can share the workload with DiPietro for $600K while Poulin develops in the AHL. Worst case: he continues to be a no-show and you don’t pay him.

  • Nick

    Ok it is ok for the Islanders to try to improve their team. But maybe they should try it another way. DiPietro has been faithful to them and all aging goaltenders have injury problems. Then with having several goalies in reserve makes me think that this is all a publicly stunt to bring the Islanders to get out of the darkness. Trying to get people in the seats maybe? How many years have the Islanders been making their home in the bottom of the Eastern Conf and have not been able to climb out? At the same time we all have watch the Penguins, Capitals, and Sabres climb out and new teams replace them. Ahem! Devils! So it goes back to management. I mean please tell me what two Asian computer company owners have any clue about North American Hockey! How is the NHL coverage in Shanghai and Sri Lanka? Then what about Garth Snow, we all know that former goaltenders make great color commentators but forwards make better GMs. Its time for them to wise up. Make the trade get what you can for him and move on. Put the team up for sale, move it to Hartford or Winnipeg and put together a new head office. By the way the Islanders used to be my Eastern team till all of this because they didn’t stir the pot, but now i’m looking for another team. Any suggestions? And don’t say any team in or around Pennsylvania!

  • #20

    Well, Nabokov is not like Wade so he won’t take just any trash.

  • Bozz

    Wan’t Dubie that same goalie that claimed to be “an Islander at hearth?” The same goalie that plays wherever he can?

  • YW

    I find it crazy that no one sees this as a protest by snow of the NHL’s stupid rule that a free agent being signed from another pro league needs to clear waivers first. Two years ago, the Isles needed goaltending, and re-signed Dubie out of the russian KHL. Dubie shows up at Isles practice, but before he can unpack his gear, gets a call from his agent that he’s been claimed bu the Bluejackets. Garth saw this not only as an opportunity to improve his team, but also as a way to protest how stupid this rule is.

  • Bozz

    Isles had Roloson who was doing great for such a pointless NHL wannabe team!! Garth Snow proves that he is a joke now like he was back then!!

  • LOL Isles

    Nabokov clearly stated he wanted to play for a PLAYOFF TEAM, and he was crystal clear on that. Isles aren’t one. They should’ve known better. Nabokov is at the end of his career, 2-3 more seasons and he’s done. He doesn’t care about $$$, he wants Stanley, and then Gagarin Cups. You think he’s looking to be a team leader for the Isles? Or for any team? And he’s apparently selfish because he won’t play for a team that he said he won’t play for, i.e. a non-playoff team. Seriously?

  • islesSuck

    Lol why would anyone want to play for the Islanders?

    I’m glad I don’t have to see his talent wasted on such a worthless team.

  • John

    “Thankfully, now we can all sit back and know that Nabokov will spend the rest of this season freezing his butt off in Russia”

    Uhh..why would Nabokov spend the rest of the season in Russia? You do realize he doesn’t play for any Russian team, right? You do realize his contract was bought out by the KHL last year, and they split ways, right? You do realize that he lives in warm, sunny California with his family, right?



  • Gary

    They have every right and obligation to improve their team. Stevie Wonder could see that Nabokov would never have reported. So now instead of talking about some great kids and some exciting wins we are reminded of the foolish decisions of the stewards of this franchise.

    I am sorry to the Isle faithful. You have had better, you deserve better. Too bad you are so tied to Dumber & Dumber making the decisions.

  • Noctro

    Wow. Pretty pretensions piece coming from a “Journalist.”

    Might want to actually read the NHL rules and the NHL/NHLPA CBA. He is allowed to do this.

    Why on earth would he want to retire on a team that has *zero* potential this year. What he is saying is “If I can’t get a slot on a contender, then I’d rather end my career with that win over the Redwings last year.”

    Stop taking it so personally. Honestly, the Islanders look like Jackasses. They had to know before slapping the waiver down that (a) Nabokov wouldn’t be thrilled, and (B) there was a high likelyhood that he’d rather sit out the season. Having lived with Nabby as our goalie for over 10 years, one thing I can say is he DOES look out for himself. You make that sound like it’s a bad thing.

    Also: Check your facts: he wasn’t “Fired” by SKA in the KHL. They mutually dissolved to contract for personal reasons. Namely, his family wasn’t going to make the move, so he decided that it would be better to move back to the US. IMO, family over money shows class, not the other way around.

    Get over it. Waive him, and take the low draft picks, and move forward. It’s better for the Isles, Nabokov, and the NHL all around.

    Or don’t. But don’t expect a Russian to back down, either.

  • stephanie

    You wish you had a goalie like Nabby on your team. Don’t lie to yourself about that. He is a quality goaltender who has done more then your waste of a contract Rick DiPietro has done.

  • Tealfanatic

    He will be watching from sunny San Jose, maybe you should do some research before writing next time. Nabby made it clear he won’t go to any other team if they tried to pick him up. Why was His agent not contacted by the Islanders before, they could have saved themselves some embarrassing publicity.

    Why would he want to play for them, they suck year after year because they are poorly managed.

    GO SHARKS!!!

    • Dan

      So the isles aren’t entitled to try and better their roster because yet are in last place? Your comments are ridiculous. I don’t think the isles should be embarrassed. I think they should be proud they tried to make a move to improve the squad in an otherwise pitiful year.

  • Amanda Harmon

    Nabokov has every right to not want to play for the Islanders. I respect Snow immensely (or, well I used to), but this was a stupid move. Nabokov could have been more up-front and just told the Isles flat-out “no”, but even so this isn’t a huge lack of professionalism seen on my part. The Islanders are facing difficulty because they are being poorly managed, and they did nothing but bring more negativity upon themselves by picking Nabokov up off waivers, when it was clear he wasn’t just looking to get back into the NHL (much less by-way of playing for one of the worst teams in the league). He wants to play for a playoffs-bound team, and entering so late in the season and playing for anything less is a waste of his time and talent. The Islanders need to let this go and let Nabokov move on.

  • Jojo

    Nice article. Too bad that the people reading it root for teams that still dont have more cups than the Islanders. When was the last time your team won, 19??? I dont even have to know what place your from, or team you like. Save the cheap talk, and your opinion about what someone who has real talent should do.

    I am laughing in my chair in New York, at you.

  • Ian

    It was a dumb move by your GM to not even contact this players agent before trying to pick him up, he took an obvious paycut in order to help out a contending team and it was widely acknowledged that he wouldn’t report if a basement team made a useless waiver claim on him, this came as no surprise. And he wont be watching from Russia he has been back in America for a while now even before this contract with the red wings transpired. Bottom line the Islanders did this to themselves, he was never going to report to your team or any other ones who tried to claim him that were out of serious playoff contention.

    • Mike

      Obvious paycut from what? He choked in the playoffs last year (again), turned down NHL money from a stanley cup contending team to try and make more in the KHL…gets cut…then comes crawling back to the NHL and tries to get on the fast track to the playoffs again. You can’t have it both ways…you can’t leave for money and then when you stink it up in Russia come back to your original situation. I’m glad the Islanders didn’t allow Nabokov to Favre himself into a comfy situation by simply releasing him. This entitled BS from athletes shouldn’t be allowed.

      • Noctro

        Takes a team to choke. Last time I checked, Nabokov was on the ice with 20 other players.

  • Brian

    This article is awful. Nabokov is the smart one for not subjecting himself to the pain of wearing an Isles uniform. Nothing like wearing that thing to say “I’m a loser.” At this point in his career he was just looking for a playoff. This move was not necessary and just adds to the story of what a joke this organization is. play the young guy, you aren’t going anywhere and b/c of your moronic ownership you are going to be paying an injured goalie until the time that your budding star Tavares retires.

  • G

    Lol he doesn’t want you or himself to be seen in an isles uniform. Also whether they suspend him and leave him home or he actually showed up regardless in the end he would still watched the playoffs from home on tv. Everyone knows no one wants to play at that high school arena. Nabakov is just adding himself to that list.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live