Nikolai Khabibulin’s terrible off-season might get a lot better on Friday. Or a lot worse. Khabibulin’s trial for extreme DUI is set to happen then provided it isn’t delayed like it has been the last few times. Jim Matheson of The Edmonton Journal lays the facts on us on what will be in Khabibulin’s future should things not go his way.
If he’s found guilty, Khabibulin could spend a minimum of 30 days in jail for the misdemeanour. The maximum sentence is six months. He could be sent to Tent City, the military camp in the Arizona desert where the convicted wear prison stripes. They have also been known to wear pink underwear under the watchful eye of hard-line sheriff Joe Arpaio, the legendary lawman who has been featured on the CBS News program 60 Minutes.
Khabibulin would miss two weeks of Oilers training camp, which starts with medicals on Sept. 17. It would further complicate a hardscrabble road for the veteran goalie, who only played 18 games last season before his back gave out on him and he required surgery.
Clearly this trial has major implications on what happens with the Oilers this season. Having a player go to jail doesn’t happen very often in the NHL and clearly if Khabibulin goes to jail their decision to retain both Devan Dubnyk and Jeff Deslauriers looks smarter. If Khabibulin is cleared, then the Oilers will have a bit of a crowded crease with three goalies on one-way NHL contracts.
We realize that Nik Khabibulin isn’t really on many fans’ radar, especially playing in Edmonton, but given the charges he’s facing (speeding, extreme DUI), the real threat of jail time and the fact that Khabibulin is a former Stanley Cup-winning goalie it’s a story that’s a bit under the radar and all too serious.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.