Nabokov’s agent Isakov: “For Evgeny Russia isn’t an empty word” (Photo © Getty Images)
After the announcement of Nabokov’s signing with SKA St. Petersburg, Russian popular portal Sport day by day had an interview with agent Sergei Isakov, in which he talked about the negotiating with SKA, about Nabokov’s family and about the length of the contract they signed with Alexander Medvedev’s team.
RussianHockeyFans.com offers you a translation.
Isakov: “I met SKA’s representatives more than once. At first we couldn’t agree about some fundamental terms of the contract. So there were moments that should have been discussed in detail. But in any case I felt that if SKA would want to approach us again they would have done the right thing.”
– Surely a goalie of Nabokov’s level would interest most of KHL teams. Was there concurrency for SKA?
Isakov: “Honestly speaking SKA was the only team we talked to. We weren’t hasting trying to find a team. As a result yesterday we settled all the problems with SKA. It’s a team with big traditions. They have a good roster. It’s time for them to win the title. And, of course, you can’t win without a good goalie. And Nabokov is the number one.”
– Evgeny played for 13 seasons with San Jose. Maybe it was disappointing for him not to get an offer from the Sharks?
Isakov: “Of course the years spent in San Jose gave him a lot. You might have understood that Evgeny doesn’t like to change places. In his career he played only for Dynamo Moscow and for San Jose. And one year in Magnitogorsk during the lock-out. Regarding the contract with the Sharks, their GM Ron Wilson thanked him for the years spent within the team. And that the Flyers were really interested in him and he was ready to trade his rights. But his agent in the NHL Don Meehan couldn’t get anything concrete.”
– Nabokov’s wife, Tabitha, is American. How ready is she to move to Russia?
Isakov: “I met her two weeks ago in Las Vegas. She told me that she would have come living in Russia with pleasure and that she really wanted that her son and daughter would study in Russian. You know, Evgeny is a good family man. He didn’t only agree with me to transfer to SKA. He agreed with his wife first. This was one of the most important moments before the signing of the contract.”
– In the last interviews I had with Nabokov I had the impression that he’d rather stay in North America.
Isakov: “Maybe. But he give me the task to conduct the negotiating with SKA and thus this mean that he also wanted to play in the KHL. Evgeny knows that, playing here, he would have more chances to play for the Russian national team. For him the word Russia isn’t an empty sound.”
– For how long Evgeny can play for SKA?
Isakov: “The contract is a four-year deal. We signed this specially for the Sochi Olympic Games. He’s thinking about finishing his career in 2010 after winning the gold medal with Russia.”