Nabokov Re-signs, Ends Holdout

Archived from 2002-03 season.

NHL teams

Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov ended a five-game holdout by signing a two-year contract with the San Jose Sharks worth $7.15 million.

Without Nabokov and holdout defenseman Brad Stuart, the Sharks have struggled to a 1-4 start.

"Who we kidding here? To say that the performance of the team does not factor into the urgency of your analysis is just not being truthful," general manager Dean Lombardi said. "It forced us to do something in our evaluation planning that maybe we would have put off."

"It heightened the urgency because of how we're struggling right now, but to pin this start on the goaltending is not fair and accurate," Lombardi said. "There's a lot of factors that go into a 1-4 start. To blame it on the goaltending, that's not realistic."

Though the sides weren't far apart in negotiations, Lombardi admitted he gave in to Nabokov's desire for a big raise and a relatively short-term contract -- violating many of the principles he established while building the Sharks into a small-budget Stanley Cup contender.

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