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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    Rangers punch playoff ticket to wrap up night of clinched spots

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    The New York Rangers weren’t ecstatic that Chris Tierney‘s 4-4 goal sent their game to overtime against the San Jose Sharks, but either way, getting beyond regulation punched their ticket to the playoffs on Tuesday night.

    For the seventh season in a row, the Rangers are in the NHL’s postseason. They fell to the Sharks 5-4 in overtime, so they haven’t locked down the first wild-card spot in the East … yet. It seems like a matter of time, however.

    The Rangers have now made the playoffs in 11 of their last 12 tries, a far cry from the barren stretch when they failed to make the playoffs from 1997-98 through 2003-04 (with the lockout season punctuating the end of that incompetent era).

    New York has pivoted from the John Tortorella days to the Vigneault era, and this season has been especially interesting as they reacted to a 2016 first-round loss to the Penguins by instituting a more attacking style. The Metropolitan Division’s greatness has overshadowed, to some extent, how dramatic the improvement has been.

    This result seems like a tidy way to discuss Tuesday’s other events.

    The drama ends up being low for the Rangers going forward, and while there might be a shortage of life-or-death playoff struggles, the battles for seeding look to be fierce.

    Oilers end NHL’s longest playoff drought; Sharks, Ducks also clinch

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    There’s something beautiful about the symmetry on Tuesday … unless you’re a Detroit Red Wings fan, maybe.

    On the same night that the longest active NHL playoff streak ended at 25 for Detroit, the longest playoff drought concluded when the Edmonton Oilers clinched a postseason spot by beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1.

    The Oilers haven’t reached the playoffs since 2005-06, when Chris Pronger lifted them to Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

    In doing so, other dominoes fell. Both the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks also punched their tickets to the postseason.

    The Sharks, of course, hope to exceed last season’s surprising run to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

    Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks continue their run of strong regular seasons, even as memories of their Cup win start to fade into the distance. All three teams are currently vying for the Pacific Division title.

    The Western Conference’s eight teams are dangerously close to being locked into place, as the Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues are all close to looking down their spots as well.

    Want the East perspective? Check out this summary of Tuesday’s events from the perspective of the other conference.

    Craig Anderson took his blunder hard – probably too hard – in Sens loss

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    Members of the Ottawa Senators were quick to defend Craig Anderson following his blunder (see above) in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, and it’s easy to see why.

    It’s not just about his personal struggles, either. When Anderson’s managed to play, he’s been flat-out phenomenal, generating a .927 save percentage that ranks near a Vezina-type level (if he managed to play more than 35 games).

    Goaltending has been a huge reason why Ottawa has at least a shot of winning the Atlantic or at least grabbing a round of home-ice advantage, so unlike certain instances where teams shield a goalie’s failures, the defenses are absolutely justified.

    Anderson, on the other hand, was very hard on himself.

    You have to admire Anderson for taking the blame, even if in very much “hockey player” fashion, he’s not exactly demanding the same sort of credit for his great work this season.

    It’s official: Red Wings’ playoff streak ends at 25 seasons

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    When we look back at the 2016-17 season for the Detroit Red Wings, it will be remembered for some sad endings.

    It began without Pavel Datsyuk. We knew that their last game at Joe Louis Arena this season would be their last ever. And now we know that Joe Louis Arena won’t be home to another playoff run.

    After 25 straight seasons of making the playoffs – quite often managing deep runs – the Red Wings were officially eliminated on Tuesday night. In getting this far, they enjoyed one of the greatest runs of longevity in NHL history:

    Tonight revolves largely around East teams winning and teams clinching bids – the Edmonton Oilers could very well end the league’s longest playoff drought this evening – but this story is more solemn.

    EA Sports tweeted out a great infographic:

    “Right now it’s hard to talk about it, because you’re a big reason why it’s not continuing,” Henrik Zetterberg said in an NHL.com report absolutely worth your time.

    Mike “Doc” Emrick narrated a great look back at Joe Louis Arena here: