Islanders Set to Keep Nabby for Next Season

According to a New York’s Newsday, the New York Islanders are planning to retain the rights to goaltender Evgeni Nabokov for the 2011-2012 season. Nabokov was picked off waivers by the team after signing a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings but since the collective bargaining agreement calls for players signing a NHL-level contract to enter waivers Nabokov ended up in Long Island. However the newest Islander never donned an Islanders jersey opting to hold out in hopes he would be freed from his contract this coming off-season.
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Dueling Russians

This year’s NHL draft brings about a lot of talent, as it does year after year.  However, the crop of Russian players is not as copious as years past (most noticeably the 2010 NHL Entry Draft).  You will not find the likes of a Burmistrov, Tarasenko, Kuznetsov, Kabanov, Galiev, or Kitsyn.  But a new breed of Russian hockey player is quickly coming into the fold.  The two notables in this year’s draft are, the OHL’s, Vladislav Namestnikov and Alexander Khokhlachev.  Most likely first or second round draft picks, these two Russians have taken the next step in achieving their dreams of playing in the NHL by coming across the ocean from Russia to play in the top junior league in the world.

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Evgeni Nabokov Leaves KHL’s SKA St.Petersburg, Where Will He Land?


(courtesy of ALEXANDER DEMIANCHUK/REUTERS)

It appears Evgeni Nabokov’s stint back in the motherland is over as the four-year $24 million contract has been terminated by SKA St.Petersburg earlier today. Nabokov signed the contract with the intent of finishing up his career back in his adopted home country after being cut loose by the San Jose Sharks due to cap limitations. The 35-year-old netminder was the backbone to the only team he knew in the NHL and holds every major record for goalies in team history.
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A Russian Bargain…Or Lack Thereof

Alexander Frolov was drafted 20th overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings.  With hopes riding high on the young Russian, he broke into the NHL in the 2002-03 season scoring 31 points in 79 games.  His point totals continued to increase over the next few years notching 20+ goals in six straight seasons.  

After signing a 5 year deal beginning the 2005-06 season and despite putting up very good numbers, the Los Angeles Kings soon found out that Frolov did not fit the mold or the direction the Kings were going in.  At the same time, Frolov new that he was not a good fit for LA after his contract expired.
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Zherdev arrives in the Nik of time

It is ironic that Nikolai Zherdev left for the KHL last season after having some top-notch years under his belt in the NHL (Three 50+ point seasons to be exact).  It is ironic Nikolai Zherdev after only one year of KHL play, he decided he wanted to come back to the league that shunned him away.  It is ironic that Nikolai Zherdev has come back to North America with a new attitude that couldn’t even be altered by the likes of Sergei Fedorov in his time with the Jackets.  It is even more ironic that the team willing to take the gamble to acquire him didn’t have a great deal of cap room and has been known not to have an affinity for Eastern Europeans throughout their team’s history.

Questions surrounding Nikolai Zherdev’s work ethic and ability to adhere to the teams style of play have always been brought up ever since he was drafted 4th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2004.  Zherdev was never the guy to play by anyone’s rules.  The world was his oyster and it revolved around him 24/7/365.  His production, or, in 2006-07, the lack thereof, ranked higher on his pedestal than the benefit and progression of his team as a whole.  So why, on Earth, would a player with his talent, skillset, vision, as well as his lack of drive, want to come back to a league that had put red flags around his name since he boarded his plane for a one-way ticket back to the KHL?
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Where will Kovy Land? The FRWG Edition

ilya-kovalchuk-kings-stpetes

As we slowly approach week two of Kovy watch 2010 the most sought after free agent of this summer not named Lebron James has yet to pick a team. As much as VERSUS or the NHL network would probably love to air his decision live, I can’t see that happening. It would mean hockey being recognized as a legit sport in this country by those who can only pay attention once a week to their beloved team but I digress.
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Nikolai Zherdev, Coming to America(Again)

zherdev(Courtesy of The Hockey News)

After taking a year off from top hockey in the KHL, former New York Rangers winger Nikolai Zherdev returns to the NHL signing with rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers. Zherdev who originally started his pro career with the Columbus Blue Jackets comes back to the league having spent time with Atlant Moscow Oblast in Russia’s KHL last year.
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