After three years as the No. 1 on Long Island, Evgeni Nabokov appears primed to move on.
The Islanders and the Russian netminder are reportedly unable to reach an agreement on a new deal, according to multiple sources. The news comes just weeks after GM Garth Snow acquired and signed Jaroslav Halak to be the team’s new starting netminder — yesterday, Newsday reported Nabokov and the Isles “are not close” to a deal that would see the Russian netminder return as Halak’s backup next season.
Also yesterday, Snow (along with director of player development Eric Cairns and franchise legend Mike Bossy) met with season ticket holders about plans for the upcoming campaign. While the session wasn’t made available to the media, one attendee tweeted some of the meeting highlights, including Snow’s remark that the Isles offered Nabokov a one-year pact, which he rejected.
This leaves New York with a precarious situation in goal. Anders Nilsson, who made 19 appearances for the Isles last season, has signed with Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL and Kevin Poulin, who played 28 games last year, is a pending RFA — meaning that, as things currently stand, there are no goalies under contract for next season aside from Halak.