The Islanders are still awaiting some sort of resolution on this whole Evgeni Nabokov situation--GM Garth Snow is supposed to talk to him again today--but until then, some players weighed in on how they felt about his decision and how they would react if he changed his mind.
To a man, the Islanders said they would embrace him if he decided to join their team.
Here's some thoughts from around the room:
"For this guy to get picked up here and just stereotype our team, it adds more motivation for us. We understand whatever people want to call us--if they want to call us doormats, or not want to come here--we love it here. Everyone's enjoying what we have right now."
"There's no secret that at the start of every game that most teams are a better club than us and that's fine. We relish that and we relish finding a way to win. I think we're going to use it as a positive. We have too many great people in the room to take it as a negative."
"It's an easy judge-a-book-by-its-cover....I think it's a bad move on his part and I think he'll regret it."
"As much as we don't agree with his decision and we don't understand it fully, there's two sides to ever argument. We understand the business of hockey. We understand thinking you're going to Detroit and next day you're in Long Island. We're pretty sharp people around here. As much as we're disappointed, we'll use it as motivation. I can't stand around and act like a fool and not understand what he's doing or his agent is doing. If it's going to help our hockey club and he's going to be a good person in our room, of course we'll be ready to have him."
"You obviously don't want to hear that. We're a proud bunch of guys and we've been working hard and playing some good hockey lately. It's his call. The ball is in his court now. There's nothing we can do about it. We believe in the guys we have in net right now but it would have been nice to have Nabokov."
"We'd definitely embrace him. It's definitely a business. If he's suspended and decides to change his mind in a week or two, our job is to embrace him and welcome him as part of our team. That's what we would do and that's what should happen."
"He's a good goaltender and I feel like he doesn't realize what we have going here. I think we have a good young team. We've got a good group of guys. I guess it would be tough for a guy on the outside who may not know that, but it's too bad he doesn't want to come here because I think we have a god thing going and we're headed in the right direction."
"We'd embrace him. That comes back to what kind of group we have. If he did change his mind, we'd welcome him with open arms. It just comes back to that family atmosphere we have with this team."
"It's really disappointing. I don't know what his reasons are....It's a great group of guys, a great organization and a great opportunity for anyone to prove what they can do in this league. If you have the chance to play in the NHL I think you have to take it and relish it."
"Everyone's got their reasons, circumstances. I know when I was traded in junior, it was difficult. Being at his age as well, there are many things involved, family things like that. That's why it's hard to say not knowing the reasons. For sure, he's a great goaltender, a lot of upside."
"I have no take on it," (when asked about Nabokov's decision to not report).
"We've got a great group of guys here. If you're part of the Islanders, you're family. It's up to him--he's a grown man--to decide what to do and if he decides to come we'll welcome him with open arms and if he doesn't that's his decision."