Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was claimed off waivers by the New York Islanders on Saturday after signing with the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
But sources tell TSN that Nabokov has decided he will not report to the Islanders, meaning the club will likely suspend him for not reporting or put him back on waivers.
Islanders GM Garth Snow said he talked to Nabokov's agent, Don Meehan, but wouldn't elaborate on the conversation, although he expects Nabokov to honour his contract.
"We haven't talked to the player yet, we've left messages," Snow said. "We've booked him a flight out of Oakland and we look forward to having him be a part of our organization."
Despite signing with the Wings, Nabokov had to clear waivers to return to the NHL. The St. Louis Blues lost both Marek Svatos and Kyle Wellwood through the same procedure earlier this season. Svatos was claimed by Nashville and Wellwood was scooped up by San Jose.
The contract Nabokov signed with the Red Wings includes a no-move clause and states that he cannot be put back on waivers without his permission. Also, he is ineligible to play in American Hockey League this season due to league rules regarding free agents coming from Europe after Decemeber 15.
Nabokov became a free agent in December when he was released from his contract with Russian club SKA St. Petersburg. He was in the first year of a four-year deal that he signed in the off-season with the KHL club after 10 years with the San Jose Sharks.
In 22 games this season with St. Petersburg, Nabokov posted an 8-8-5 record with a 3.02 goals against average and a .888 save percentage.
The Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan native was drafted in the ninth round, 219th overall, of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Sharks.
In nine NHL seasons with San Jose, Nabokov appeared in 563 games, posting a 293-178-29-37 record with a 2.39 GAA and a .912 sv%. In his final season, the 35-year-old posted a 44-16-10 record with a 2.43 GAA and led the Sharks to the Western Conference final where they were eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks.