There will be no repeat of the salacious Nabokov drama that surfaced on Long Island in recent weeks; Newsday has learned that the Islanders are "not interested" in goaltender Mike Smith.
Smith, 28, was placed on waivers by Tampa Bay this afternoon to relieve the Lightning of their logjam at the goaltending position. In addition to starter Dwayne Roloson, who the Islanders traded to Tampa Bay last month, the Lightning also have Dan Ellis.
The Islanders put in a claim on veteran Russian goaltender Evgeni Nabokov less than two weeks ago, but they have no intent on dipping back into the waiver wire again for Smith.
Smith's number's aren't terribly enticing. He has a 10-5-0 record in 17 games for Tampa Bay this season, but only a .883 save percentage and a 3.20 goals against average. His $2.2 million salary would be pro-rated, but it's far more cost-prohibitive than Nabokov's, which worked out to be roughly $250,000 for the remainder of the season.
Perhaps the biggest reason why the Islanders were prompted to claim Nabokov (who has subsequently been suspended for his failure to report) was their desire to send 20-year-old rookie goaltender Kevin Poulin back to the minors for more seasoning.
Poulin delivered a stellar 25-save performance in the Islanders 4-1 win over the Thrashers last night, only his 8th NHL game. Nathan Lawson, who has split goaltending duties among Poulin and Rick DiPietro, is out 2-4 weeks with an MCL strain in his left knee.