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Former NHL All-Star Nabokov released by Russian club SKA


San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov reacts to letting in a goal by Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Sharp (not pictured) in the second period during Game 1 of their NHL Western Conference final series in San Jose, California May 16, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov reacts to letting in a goal by Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Sharp (not pictured) in the second period during Game 1 of their NHL Western Conference final series in San Jose, California May 16, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

MOSCOW (Reuters) - SKA St Petersburg have released former NHL All-Star goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, the Continental Hockey League (KHL) club said Monday.

"The contract has been annulled by mutual consent because of family reasons," the club said on its website (http://www.hc-ska.ru) without giving any details.

Nabokov, 35, has had a disappointing first season in the KHL after signing a four-year contract with the big-spending Russian club, backed by energy giant Gazprom, in July.

He has won only eight of the 22 league games, giving up more than three goals per game. In his last game against lowly Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod Sunday he gave up three goals in less than nine minutes before being pulled out in the first period.

Nabokov decided to return to Russia this year after playing 10 seasons with the San Jose Sharks after the National Hockey League (NHL) club did not offer him a new contract.

The Russian earned $6 million last season in the final year of his five-year deal with the Sharks.

The Kazakhstan-born goaltender made his international debut for Russia at the 2006 Turin Olympics and also played at the Vancouver Games earlier this year. He helped Russia win their first world title in 15 years in 2008.

(Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov; editing by Justin Palmer)

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