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Monday, August 1, 2011
Evgeni Nabokov says he'll join Isles

ESPNNewYork.com

Evgeni Nabokov appears ready to finally join the New York Islanders. The goalie told Newsday he will attend the team's training camp in September.

"Yes I do plan on attending," Nabokov said, according the newspaper. "Now I will have full preparation for the season."

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

Nabokov told Newsday he wants to "set the record straight" after failing to report to New York last season.

"A lot of people speculated that I didn't want to go to the organization but that's totally not true," Nabokov told the newspaper.

"What made me make that decision is that I hadn't skated for a month and a half when they claimed me. They were out of the playoffs, but battling to get in and, as a goalie, I know the goalie position is important when fighting for position (in the standings). I didn't feel that I could help them to get to the playoffs. I needed three to four weeks to get ready and the season would've been over."

Nabokov, who played with the San Jose Sharks for parts of 10 seasons, had spent the start of last 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. When Nabokov refused to report to the Islanders, the team suspended him.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.