How the extreme DUI guilty decision may affect Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin

Thumbnail image for Bulin.jpgIn case you haven’t heard already, Nikolai Khabibulin was found guilty of the following charges.

  1. Driving under the influence of alcohol (with a BAC level above .08 percent).
  2. An extreme DUI
  3. Excessive speeding

Although the sentencing hearing hasn’t been determined just yet, it is certain that Khabibulin will face at least 30 days in prison for his bad judgment. Keep in mind, though, that such a penalty is the minimum punishment for the Russian goalie’s convictions.

The question is, what are some of the other possibilities that might result? Let’s take a look at the legal ramnifications first, according to this article from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.

  • His maximum sentence is a whopping six months in jail.
  • He could serve time in the notorious Arizona correctional facility known as “Tent City.” That’s a place in which inmates eat substandard food and face considerable embarrassment as punishment for their indiscretions.

Let’s not forget some of the other legal headaches that most people would consider “peripheral.” (Source: Travis Hughes of SB Nation.)

  • He might have to pay over $2,000 worth of fines.
  • The state of Arizona might require him to do some community service.
  • I’ll let the document Hughes cited do the talking for this punishment.

Shall be required by the department, on receipt of the report of conviction, to equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to section 28-3319. In addition, the court may order the person to equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device for more than twelve months beginning on the date of reinstatement of the person’s driving privilege following a suspension or revocation or on the date of the department’s receipt of the report of conviction, whichever occurs later.

Finally, let’s not forget the possible hockey repercussions. Matheson points out that Khabibulin would miss at least two weeks of training camp. While it’s far fetched (especially if the sentence is only for a month), the Edmonton Oilers may even attempt to use the “morals clause” in Khabibulin’s albatross contract to make his deal go away.*

* – There will most likely be more on this subject later.

So, again, we don’t have the dates in which his punishment will be revealed yet. That being said, this enormous headache keeps getting worse for the Oilers. Khabibulin’s judge simply owns the power to decide whether this will be a “migraine” or a “nuclear meltdown” for Edmonton.

What an ugly, ugly situation. Stay tuned for more on this subject soon.

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    Red Wings sign Tomas Tatar: four years, $21.2M

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    It turns out that Tomas Tatar‘s days are numbered with the Detroit Red Wings by almost 1,500.*

    After a salary arbitration hearing and concerns that he might leave after a single season, “Band-Aid” sort of deal, a wide variety of reporters state that the two sides instead agreed to a four-year deal with a $5.3 million cap hit, which would total $21.2 million.

    Those figures come from MLive.com’s Ansar Khan, the Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan, FanRag’s Craig Morgan, and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. It will be noted if the Red Wings make the term and/or financial details official.

    Here’s the reported yearly breakdown (cue ominous music for that lockout-protection drop in 2020-21), via Morgan:

    Again, this feels like a change in viewpoint, as even just yesterday it was reasonable to wonder if Tatar would only stick around for 2017-18. Now, it is possible that Tatar might get traded at some point, but a four-year deal is a bit surprising. The forward himself speculated that a one-year deal would be it.

    This contract makes Tatar, 26, the Red Wings’ second-most expensive forward from a cap perspective, trailing only Henrik Zetteberg’s $6.083 million.

    Even with this deal out of the way, Red Wings GM Ken Holland still has some work to do, including re-signing speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou. And the situation is tight.

    * – Four times 365 is 1,460. Get it?

    Wingels fractures foot, but should be ready for Blackhawks camp

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    The good news is that Tommy Wingels is expected to be ready for Chicago Blackhawks training camp. The bad news is that he’ll be limited in his training regimen … although that very regimen caused him issues in the first place.

    Dr. Michael Terry, the Blackhawks’ team doctor, released the following update regarding Wingels:

    “Tommy Wingels sustained a left foot fracture during his off-season training. We anticipate a full recovery in six to eight weeks and in time for training camp. We do not anticipate any long-term issues.”

    It’s unclear what caused the specific injury. Dropped weight? Unlucky fall? Perhaps a stress fracture? Without knowing the exact issue, it’s tempting to picture various painful scenarios.

    (Probably because we’re in the dog days of the hockey summer, too.)

    Wingels, 29, is on a one-year deal with Chicago, carrying a $750K salary and cap hit. He last played for the Ottawa Senators, though Blackhawks fans are most likely to remember him from his lengthy stay with the San Jose Sharks.

    Six-to-eight weeks seems like it wouldn’t give a ton of room for error, so we’ll see if he’ll actually be ready for training camp.

    Dahlin headlines Sweden’s roster for World Junior Summer Showcase

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    Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, potentially the NHL’s first overall draft pick in 2018, will suit up for Sweden at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan.

    Dahlin, who doesn’t turn 18 until April, has wowed scouts with his skating and puck-moving ability. At the 2017 World Juniors, he participated as a 16-year-old, garnering tantalizing reviews in the process.

    Top-10 picks in the 2017 draft, Elias Pettersson (5th, Vancouver Canucks) and Lias Andersson (7th, New York Rangers), will also be in Plymouth representing Sweden.

    Click here for Sweden’s and Finland’s Summer Showcase rosters. The tournament runs from July 29 – Aug. 5 and also features players from the United States and Canada.

    Among the draft-eligible Finns to watch is 17-year-old forward Jesse Ylonen, who could be a late first-rounder in 2018.

    Related: USA Hockey invites 42 players to World Junior Summer Showcase

    All of a sudden, hope for hockey in Houston

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    Leslie Alexander’s decision to sell the NBA’s Rockets has revived hope for a hockey team in Houston.

    That’s because Alexander is arguably the biggest reason that Houston doesn’t already have a team. The 72-year-old billionaire controls Toyota Center, where the Rockets play. Without getting into all the details, he’s essentially been the only one who could bring an NHL franchise to the city.

    From the Houston Press:

    But Alexander selling the Rockets (and the lease that goes with it), opens up an NHL-ready hockey arena in Houston. And that’s something that Seattle, which the NHL seemed to favor, can’t offer, and unlike Quebec City, Houston offers up a huge media market with many, many large corporations around to buy up luxury seats.

    Houston is certainly a big city. In fact, only four metro areas in the United States — New York, L.A., Chicago and Dallas — have higher populations.

    And Houston is growing fast.

    Jeremy Jacobs, the influential owner of the Boston Bruins, has not hidden his desire to put an NHL team in Toyota Center. Back in 2015, he told ESPN.com, “I would love to see one in Houston, but we can’t get into that building.”

    Perhaps soon the NHL won’t have that impediment.

    FanRag’s Cat Silverman wrote extensively about this topic yesterday. To learn more, give it a read.