DETROIT -- With backup goalie Chris Osgood out after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia on Jan. 11, the Red Wings signed former Sharks standout Evgeni Nabokov, who was playing in Russia.
But Nabokov needed to clear waivers, and he didn't. The New York Islanders picked him up Saturday after he was put on waivers on Friday.
There were already reports Saturday that Nabokov, who backstopped the Sharks to the Western Conference finals against the Hawks last season, will not report to the Islanders.
The Red Wings could have used Nabokov especially with Osgood out until March. Starter Jimmy Howard also bruised his knee recently, but has played the last two games.
It's good news for the Hawks, who still believe they can catch the Red Wings in standings.
''I don't see why not,'' Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. ''It's a long year. As long as we can keep having success against them -- we haven't played them too often yet -- we obviously control that [destiny].
''It's not going to take a miracle to catch them. We've just got to play well. We've gotten some big points in these last couple weeks, and now things are looking in our favor. ... We're definitely not satisfied with where we're at in the standings. We've got to keep getting better.''
This isn't the first time a Central Division rival of the Hawks had a player swiped from them on waivers. It happened to the Blues twice as Marek Svatos was grabbed by the Predators and Kyle Wellwood by Sharks.