Islanders GM Snow says did team everything right way in claiming Nabokov

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow says the team did everything the right way in its attempted acquisition of goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

The Islanders suspended Nabokov on Tuesday for not reporting to the team after he was claimed off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings.

Snow spoke to MSG Network before Wednesday’s night home game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

“The player made the decision not to report,” Snow told the network. “We did everything the right way. It’s out of our hands.”

Snow said there had been internal discussions about improving the team through the waiver process before goalie Nathan Lawson strained his MCL in the Islanders’ 5-2 win in Buffalo on Jan. 21.

Once it was announced Lawson would miss up to two weeks, “we needed to do it,” Snow said.

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The 35-year-old goaltender signed a one-year contract with Detroit on Thursday.

Nabokov, who played with the San Jose Sharks for parts of 10 seasons, had spent this season with SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian KHL and hadn’t yet played for Detroit.

The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement states that anyone who plays in a professional league before signing an NHL contract must clear waivers.

Once he signed his one-year deal with the Red Wings, he became available to the Islanders.

New York owns Nabokov’s rights and could keep him out of the NHL for all of next season should Nabokov not report.

Nabokov has been disappointed that he won’t be joining the Stanley Cup-contending Red Wings. Instead he is now under contract with the Islanders, who are far out of the Eastern Conference playoff race.