Remember a couple of days ago when David Staples was talking to Steve Tambellini about Nikolai Khabibulin, and Tambellini’s quote was that as far as he knew, he was “Doing well”?
Yeah, well…about that…
Today, Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin was found guilty of “extreme DUI” (blood alcohol level over 0.15%) in Arizona. This completely opens up a can of speculation that previously had only been speculated upon.
According to Arizona Republic sports reporter Sarah McLellan, Khabibulin’s trial date is slated for this coming Tuesday. Arizona law calls for a minimum 30 day sentence for cases convicted of “extreme DUI”.
- What are the Oilers going to do if Khabibulin is incarcerated for training camp or the season? Should Khabibulin be incarcerated for any great length of time, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Tambellini play Goaltender Lotto next week, as the team will be down to only three goaltenders that have NHL experience.
- What about his contract? You got me. I’d be willing to bet that if Khabibulin is locked up come October, the Oilers will attempt to somehow make the final 3 years ($10.25M…) evaporate. The Oilers have publicly gone on record stating that they will support Khabibulin no matter what happens, but I can’t for the life of me think that they’re going to go so far as to support their number one goaltender if he’s doing time in Arizona. Also, I have no idea how his status on LTIR will factor into this.
All of this should begin to make a little more sense come Tuesday.
The signing of Martin Gerber is looking like a steal more and more every day.