Khabibulin impaired driving trial delayed once again

khabibulindui.jpgThe trial for Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin in his impaired driving case has been delayed once again. Sarah McClellan of the Edmonton Journal shares the news.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin arrived in an Arizona court Wednesday for the second time this month to appear before a jury on charges of impaired driving and speeding, but his case was once again postponed.

“The calendar’s congested,” said Khabibulin’s attorney Mark DuBiel as he exited a Scottsdale Municipal courtroom with Khabibulin.

Judge B. Monte Morgan offered DuBiel two options: a court date at the end of August without a jury in which Morgan would act as the judge and jury, or a date at the end of September with a jury trial.

“We don’t know which one we’re gonna take yet because we have to talk to the hockey club first,” DuBiel said.

Morgan also suggested an interim judge take the case, but DuBiel said that was a route the prosecutor would not like to take.

Khabibulin is going to have to face the music on this charge eventually and it’s one that looks pretty ugly considering the seemingly tame-ish nature of the charge. Khabibulin was cited for an extreme DUI and took a blood test to check the alcohol content in his system. The results came up as being more than twice the legal limit. Not good. With the trial now being delayed until September, Khabibulin’s participation in Oilers training camp will now face a major distraction.
Given that Khabibulin’s contract with the Oilers is rather interminably long for the 37 year-old (he’s got three years left at $3.375 million per), we took a look at what the Oilers could do a couple weeks ago should Khabibulin face jail time and found that the Oilers could void his contract if things got that far. Whether the Oilers would do that and battle with the NHLPA would remain to be seen.

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    Lehner (forearm contusion) to miss preseason game versus Maple Leafs

    Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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    The Buffalo Sabres will not have goalie Robin Lehner in their lineup Friday versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    As per the Sabres, Lehner is dealing with a forearm contusion and will not dress for this preseason game. Jason Kasdorf will start in net for Buffalo.

    Members of the media in Buffalo have noted that if this were a regular season game, Lehner would be able to play.

    Lehner had ankle surgery in March, ending his 2015-16 season. His ankle issues dated even further back, to the beginning of last season when he suffered a high-ankle sprain.

    The Sabres have some exciting young players on their roster, especially up front, but they need Lehner to be healthy if they are to take a run at a playoff spot this season.

    Behind him sit Linus Ullmark, Anders Nilsson and Kasdorf, who have a combined 73 games of NHL experience between them all.

    Matthews to sit out preseason tilt versus Sabres, as Maple Leafs give him ‘a little break’

    BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Auston Matthews poses for a portrait after being selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in round one during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)
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    The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. But No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews won’t be in the lineup, according to multiple reports.

    “Sooner or later, he’s going to get in, but not tonight,” said assistant coach Jim Hiller, as per the Toronto Sun.

    “The lineups are day by day. They (World Cup players such as Matthews, Milan Michalek, Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk) went through a solid three weeks. It’s a little break, a little down time. There are tons of games coming. They’ll get a lot of ice time. They’ll get in shortly.”

    (The report also notes that Matthews is not dealing with a health issue, which is obviously good news for the Leafs.)

    On a night when the No. 2 overall selection Patrik Laine is slated to make his preseason debut for the Winnipeg Jets, fans wishing to see Matthews don a Maple Leafs jersey in his anticipated debut will have to wait.

    Matthews played for Team North America at the World Cup held in Toronto. He had two goals and three points in three round robin games, but the young North American team was unable to advance to the semifinal round.

    The Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens at home on Sunday.

    McLellan: Maroon’s lower-body injury not considered serious

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    It appears Patrick Maroon‘s injury from Wednesday’s preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks looked worse than it is.

    The Edmonton Oilers forward was in obvious pain immediately after he went hard into the boards from an awkward hit delivered by James Sheppard just past the midway point of the third period. Maroon needed help to the bench and was unable to put much, if any, pressure on his left leg.

    He left the game and didn’t return.

    Good news, however, from the Oilers: Head coach Todd McLellan told reporters on Friday that the injury — lower body — is not serious, as per the team’s Twitter account.

    According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, the 28-year-old Maroon is expected to be ready for Edmonton’s season opener against the rival Calgary Flames on Oct. 12.

    The Oilers acquired Maroon at last season’s trade deadline, a move that certainly added size and an element of grit to their group of forwards.

    In 16 games with Edmonton, he scored eight goals and 14 points. In 56 games with Anaheim that same season, he registered only 13 points before the trade.

    Patrik Laine to make highly anticipated preseason debut for Jets

    BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Patrik Laine gives an interview after being selected second by the Winnepeg Jets during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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    Anticipation has been building since the Winnipeg Jets officially took Patrik Laine with the second overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

    On Friday, Laine, the highly coveted Finnish forward, will make his preseason debut for the Jets when they play the Edmonton Oilers in Winnipeg, as the home fans get the chance to take in the occasion.

    The Jets have done a nice job of amassing good young forwards in their organization. Laine, who has the gifts to be a prolific scorer in the NHL, is at the top of that prospect list.

    Winnipeg’s roster tonight also includes forward prospects Kyle Connor, Nic Petan and Brandon Tanev, not to mention more NHL experienced forwards like Alex Burmistrov, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele.

    Laine enters this season with high expectations placed on him from fans and media, after coming to the NHL following a standout career in Finland as a teenager. He’s aware of the expectations, but toned down the hype with the usual statements of just playing his game.

    “Just be brave on the ice and show everybody I will earn my spot on the team,” he told reporters.

    Laine has already seen game action this month. Not with the Jets, but with Finland’s entry at the World Cup of Hockey.

    Following offseason knee surgery, Laine wasn’t happy with his performance in Finland’s first pre-tournament game. In three tournament games, Laine failed to register a point, despite a team-best 10 shots on goal, as Finland was quickly eliminated in the round robin.

    Related:

    Looking to make the leap: Patrik Laine