After three years with the New York Islanders, it is reported that Evgeni Nabokov is unable to reach an agreement to remain with the franchise.
This is being said only one week after general manager Garth Snow acquired Jaroslav Halak and announced he would be the starting netminder.
With 2 weeks until free agency, #Isles and G Evgeni Nabokov are not close on a deal. Team needs a backup (or 2) for Jaro Halak.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 18, 2014
Nabokov was apparently offered a one year deal which he rejected.
On Nabby: “We offerred him a 1 year deal that he turned down. It looks like he will become a free agent”
— Aaron Lerner (@alerner31) June 19, 2014
Nabokov posted a .905 save percentage and a 2.74 goals-against average with the Islanders during 40 appearances last season. History is seeming to repeat itself as Nabokov was expected to hit free agency last year as well, only to remain with the team. Nothing is set in stone yet, but there is a good chance that he will look to another NHL team to become a backup goalminder for.
With this being said, the Islanders currently have no backup goalies. In addition to Nabokov rejecting his offer, Anders Nilsson has signed with the Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL and Kevin Poulin is a pending RFA. Something needs to be done in terms of finding a good backup for Halak and the Islanders may begin to feel the heat if no deals can be made in the near future.