Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov has yet to meet with head coach Jack Capuano and general manager Garth Snow, but he joined his Islanders teammates on the ice for the first time Thursday morning.
Nabokov flew in from his home in Northern California Tuesday night and appeared at the team's practice facility in Syosset Wednesday, but Thursday was the first time he stepped onto the ice in an Islanders sweater.
The 36-year-old Russian netminder refused to report when the Islanders claimed him last January--he originally signed a deal with Detroit before the Islanders plucked him off waivers--but was nothing but eager to begin anew Thursday.
"Absolutely," he said. "I haven't played in a long time, so it's fun to be back."
There was no empty net awaiting his arrival, however. Nabokov was one of four goaltenders splitting reps during the team's informal skate at iceWorks. The former Vezina Trophy finalist shared a net with 21-year-old Kevin Poulin on one end of the ice with fellow netminders Rick DiPietro and Al Montoya sharing the other.
An impending training camp competition is nothing new for the NHL veteran.
"You can't go anywhere without a competition," Nabokov said. "Training camp is always the key to the season and hopefully, we'll get going."