Nabokov signs deal to play in Russia

July 7, 2010 at 8:23 PM
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SAN JOSE, Calif., July 7 (UPI) -- Former San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov confirmed Wednesday he has signed a contract to play hockey in Russia.

Nabokov told ESPN.com he has signed a four-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League.

"It was an interesting decision, a hard decision for me, but I'm also excited right now," Nabokov told the Web site.

Nabokov, an unrestricted free agent, made $6 million last season with the Sharks, backstopping them to the NHL Western Conference Finals before they fell in a four-game sweep to eventual Stanley Cup winners Chicago Blackhawks.

The 34-year-old Kazakhstan native was seen as one of the top goaltenders on the free agent market after finishing last season with a 44-16-10 record, 2.43 goals-against average and three shutouts.

Also on St. Petersburg are former NHL players Sergei Zubov, Darius Kasparaitis, Alexei Yashin and Sergei Brylin.

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