Evgeni Nabokov said that he will go to training camp with the New York Islanders, according to a report.
Nabokov said, “Yes, I do plan on attending. Now I will have full preparation for the season.”
In January, Nabokov did not report to the Islanders after he was claimed off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings by New York, which suspended the veteran goalie.
People thought he did not want to report to the Islanders, who struggled last season in the Eastern Conference, Nabokov said. He added that he had not skated for six weeks when he was claimed and wanted three to four week to be prepared.
Nabokov said, “Any time you go to a new group, you want to be welcomed. I’m not sure everyone understands the situation. Players can play 5, 10 minutes a night, but goalies have to play the whole game. I wasn’t ready and the situation wasn’t right. I wish we had better communication between the Islanders and me, but it was a tough decision for me that I couldn’t help.”
Nabokov, who played with the San Jose Sharks for parts of 10 seasons, had spent last season with SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian KHL.
A one-year contract was signed with Detroit, but had to clear waivers.
The collective bargaining contract of NHL states that anybody who plays in a professional league before signing an NHL agreement should clear waivers.
He became available to the Islanders once he signed his one-year deal with the Red Wings.