New York Islanders snatched Russain goaltender Evgeni Nabokov through waivers on Saturday despite the 35-year-old signing a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
The Red Wings had come to an agreement with Nabokov on Thursday. However, there was a stumbling block in the form of his time served at the Russian Kontinental Hockey League at the start of the season, meaning he had to be waived first. He was placed on the waivers list post noon on Friday, and the Islanders landed him before the 24 hours deadline.
This comes as a crucial blow to the The Red Wings as both their current goalies are sidelined with respective injuries, and they face a struggle to find a suitable replacement. Their first choice goal tender, Jimmy Howard is suffering from a bruised knee and had to brave the pain in their 4-3 overtime win against the Blues. His back-up Chris Good is also out after undergoing a hernia surgery last week.
However, The Islanders have keeper problems of their own. They currently lie second to to last in the Eastern Conference with their first choice keeper Rick DiPietro missing the game against Buffalo due to flue. Friday Their second keeper Nathan Lawson went down with an injury to his left knee in the game against Buffalo and they needed Kevin Poulin to see them through the game.
Prior to this, Nabokov boasts of an impressive career most of which was spent at NHL side San Jose Sharks after which he signed a four-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg. But the deal was cut short mid-December after Nabokov left for Russia citing family reasons.