A Very Candid Nabokov Talks Olympics, KHL and Kovy

Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:

Leave it to the Russian media to be able to put together a flashy, attention-catching headline during the time of the year when hockey stories die; the last week of August.

nabby“Will Nabokov leave the NY Islanders for Russia?” asks a headline from Russian outlet R-Sport, just begging for your pageviews. But don’t get worried, that’s not based on anything that might imply Nabokov is thinking of skipping across the Atlantic to head back home like his countryman Ilya Kovalchuk did. It’s more of a Glenn Beck style headline that is, as Beck famously does, just asking questions.

Read through the post a bit, and the question is posed to Nabokov:

R-Sport: There were rumors that you would either be locked out or would try to go back to the KHL after the season ends. Is any of this true?

E.N.: To the KHL!? Did someone seriously write this? I have never heard of this until now. To be honest, I have never even considered the possibility of returning. These rumors are mere gossip. In addition to the Islanders, I have other options in the NHL; but, after signing of a new contract, it is pointless to speak about this.

Not only is he signed to the Islanders, but he’s also confident in the possibility of “other options” in the NHL. But that’s not even the most interesting part of the interview. Nabokov was candid when asked about some other items.

He also addressed the Kovalchuk situation:

“Ilya has made a choice for himself and for his family. He believes that things will be better for him there. Those who condemn Kovalchuk’s action are simply stupid people. He does what is best for him and for the people closest to him.”

And on being called a third goaltender for the Olympic team:

R-Sport: Are you ready to go to the Olympics even as the third goaltender?

E.N.: I do not understand why everyone considers me a reserve player. We have a coaching staff, and none of them has said anything about who will be the first goaltender and who will be the second or third. I am happy to be on the national team, and that is enough.

So Nabby’s, not surprisingly, not going anywhere. And don’t call him a reserve Olympian, he’s not going to just settle for that.