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Bits: A Nabokov and His Islanders Will Soon Part

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According to a report, the Islanders and Evgeni Nabokov have not seen eye to eye on a new deal.

Why can't we get along?
Why can't we get along?
USA TODAY Sports

File this one into your quiver as free agency looms a week away and the goalie market continues to shift:

If you can't read that embedded tweet, that's Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post reporting that talks between the Islanders and their entertaining but not-always-game-saving goalie have reached a standstill.

Arthur Staple of Newsday reports something similar though not quite as conclusive, but with an extra dose of buyout talk sprinkled in:

[EDIT: Staple talked to Nabokov, who said they "couldn't find middle ground" but he has not closed the door.]

The 37-year-old (he'll be 38 in July) Nabokov and the Isles are now poised to part ways, or at least call each other's bluff, before free agency opens at noon on July 5. (Note: Teams can talk to other teams' free agents beginning on July 3.)

The first buyout period does not end until July 4, so there is plenty of time for teams to monkey around. (More on that in Friedman's 30 Thoughts link below.)

We discussed some of the goalie options earlier this week, with the short version being "Lots of options, many of great uncertainty, so do something but don't spend too much."

It's going to be very interesting to see what goes on here. In Nabokov's case, he is well liked but his skills are, well, not all there anymore. He's better cast as a backup. Is that something the Islanders made clear in negotiations, either by in words or in financial offer? Does he see himself as a starter somewhere else? (He made this mistake once before, and ended up in the KHL.) Or is it a matter of money more than role? And will another team bite?

Just because the season is finally over doesn't mean there won't be plenty of fun to come...

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