Evaluating the Edmonton Oilers' options after Khabibulin's guilty verdict

khabibulinscoredon.jpgSo far, I’ve shared the possible affects the guilty verdict could have on Nikolai Khabibulin and Oilers GM Steve Tambellini’s statement on the matter. Barring the unclear possibility of a league-mandated suspension, the last big piece of the puzzle is how this situation impacts Edmonton’s messy goalie situation.

The first thing to note is that we can debate the quality of their netminders, but the Oilers aren’t hurting for quantity. Along with Khabibulin, Edmonton employs three other goalies who can technically be considered “NHL level”: Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, (almost) Chara-sized goalie Devan Dubnyk and Martin Gerber. While it’s highly questionable that a good NHL team would want to roll with any of those three goalies, the crowded room in net makes the seemingly reasonable concept of giving Antti Niemi’s agent a call seem unrealistic. So the Oilers are likely stuck with what they have in net – at the NHL level, anyway – regardless.

Moving on, we have the nebulous issue of the “morals clause.” I wrote about that unlikely scenario in July, but Tyler Dellow (one of the first to point out the vague possibility) responded quite reasonably.

To be perfectly clear: I think that the morals clause is a dead end. People who have been focusing on it as a possible out are wasting their time, I think. Failing to show up for games though – that’s a breach of contract that doesn’t require delving into the murky waters of what falls below the expected level of conduct. This is a far more real problem for Khabibulin and a far cleaner shot for the Oilers, if Tambo can stomach cutting his 2009-10 MVP.

dubnyk2.jpg(The Oilers named an MVP for last season? I would have gone with whoever chose the lottery ball for the No.1 pick.)

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal asked an NHL agent about the chances of the Oilers terminating the contract on the grounds of that morals clause.

The agent doesn’t believe a team would challenge the conduct clause over impaired driving. If a team did that, the NHL Players’ Association would likely file a grievance.

“You don’t want to be in a situation where you challenge the validity of a contract and you go to arbitration and the team loses. Then they get the player back who, say, has a no-trade clause and is completely unmoveable.

“You get a player back who plays goal. How motivated do you think he’ll be?” said the agent.

Eh, if you ask me, Khabibulin rarely finds much motivation in non-contract years, anyway.

Long story short, the Oilers aren’t likely to get out from under the blemish that is Khabibulin’s contract (unless he misses actual regular season games).

Overall, all signs point to everyone losing. Khabibulin’s disastrous 2009-10 season looks like it will spill over into 2010-11 to at least some extent, especially if he’s “rusty” like many wonder. The Oilers will probably have to lay in the bad contract bed that they made – and even if he’s gone, their goalie situation is ugly. Ultimately, it’s like a bad hangover … something Khabibulin might have been able to relate to the morning after that unfortunate incident.

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    Report: Flyers extend Bellemare — two years, $2.9 million

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 24: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare #78 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on against the Washington Capitals during the third period in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 24, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Washington Capitals won, 1-0. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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    Philadelphia has re-upped with checking forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on a two-year extension, per Sportsnet.

    It’s believed to be a $2.9 million pact, one that carries a $1.45M average annual cap hit. That’s a nice raise for the 31-year-old, who’s in the last of a two-year pact at $712,500 per.

    Bellemare joined the Flyers for the ’14-15 campaign, following a lengthy career in Europe that included stops in his native France, and a lengthy spell in Sweden. He’s emerged as a good energy guy in the bottom-six forward group, one that can kill penalties and chip in with a bit of offense.

    Today’s news might come as a bit of a surprise for Flyers fans, however. Bellemare was a pending UFA and, given he’s on the wrong side of 30, there was speculation he’d be sold at the deadline in the hopes of recouping some assets.

    Report: Jesper Fast out indefinitely after suffering shoulder injury

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30:  Jesper Fast #19 of the New York Rangers skates against the Washington Capitals in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2015 in New York City.  Capitals defeated the Rangers 2-1.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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    Some tough news if you’re a fan of the New York Rangers.

    According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Jesper Fast will miss some time with what’s believed to be a separated shoulder.

    Fast suffered the injury after being flattened by Alex Ovechkin in last night’s 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

    The 25-year-old has been a key contributor for New York this season. He’s up to five goals and 15 assists in 59 games. He’s also second in shorthanded ice time and in hits among all Rangers forwards.

    The Rangers went into last night’s game without Mika Zibanejad and they also lost Chris Kreider momentarily yesterday, but he was able to return.

    Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault is expected to provide an update on Fast’s status after today’s practice, but don’t expect the news to be good.

    Canadiens acquire Dwight King for draft pick

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27:  Dwight King #74 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates his goal to take a 3-2 lead over the Colorado Avalanche during the second period at Staples Center on January 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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    The Montreal Canadiens are keeping busy.

    Just one day after acquiring Steve Ott from the Detroit Red Wings and Brendan Davidson from the Edmonton Oilers in separate deals, general manager Marc Bergevin completed another trade before the deadline when he acquired forward Dwight King from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a conditional 2018 fourth-round draft pick.

    It will become a third-round pick if he re-signs with the Canadiens this summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

    In 63 games this season King has eight goals and seven assists.

    He also adds to the Canadiens’ apparent season-long attempt to become a grittier and tougher team, now joining a roster that now has seen Ott, Shea Weber, and Andrew Shaw join it over the past eight months.

    For the Kings, it is a move that clears out a bit of salary cap space, perhaps opening the door for them to complete a deal with Colorado for Jarome Iginla, something that seems to be a work in progress on Wednesday.

    More

    Canadiens corner market on pests, add Steve Ott

    Canadiens get Davidson for Desharnais

    PHT’s 2017 Trade Deadline Tracker

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    Here’s the full list of deals made prior to the Wednesday, March 1 3 p.m. EST trade deadline..

    Mar. 1

    To Montreal: F Dwight King
    To Los Angeles: ’18 4th-round pick (link)

    To Florida: F Thomas Vanek
    To Detroit: ’17 3rd-round pick, D Dylan McIlrath (link)

    To Colorado: G Joe Cannata
    To Washington: D Cody Corbett (link)

    To Colorado: F Brendan Ranford
    To Arizona: F Joe Whitney (link)

    Feb. 28

    To Montreal: F Steve Ott
    To Detroit: ’18 6th-round pick (link)

    To San Jose: F Jannik Hansen
    To Vancouver: F Nikolay Goldobin, ’17 conditional 4th-round pick (link)

    To Edmonton: F David Desharnais
    To Montreal: D Brandon Davidson (link)

    To Chicago: D Johnny Oduya
    To Dallas: F Mark McNeill, ’18 conditional 4th-round pick (link)

    To New York Rangers: F Daniel Catenacci
    To Buffalo: D Mat Bodie (link)

    To Ottawa: F Viktor Stalberg
    To Carolina: ’17 3rd-round pick (link)

    To New York Rangers: D Brendan Smith
    To Detroit: ’17 3rd-round pick, ’18 2nd-round pick (link)

    Feb. 27

    To Washington: D Kevin Shattenkirk, G Pheonix Copley
    To St. Louis: F Zach Sanford, F Brad Malone, ’17 1st-round pick, ’19 conditional 2nd-round pick (link)

    To Ottawa: F Alex Burrows
    To Vancouver: F Jonathan Dahlen (link)

    To Montreal: D Jordie Benn
    To Dallas: D Greg Pateryn, ’17 4th-round pick (link)

    To Toronto: F Brian Boyle
    To Tampa Bay: F Byron Froese, ’17 2nd-round pick (link)

    To Arizona: F Teemu Pulkkinen
    To Minnesota: Future considerations (link)

    Feb. 26

    To Minnesota: F Martin Hanzal, F Ryan White, ’17 4th-round pick
    To Arizona: ’17 1st-round pick, ’18 2nd-round pick, ’19 conditional 4th-round pick, F Grayson Downing (link)

    To Los Angeles: G Ben Bishop, ’17 5th-round pick
    To Tampa Bay: G Peter Budaj, D Erik Cernak, ’17 7th-round pick, ’17 conditional pick (link)

    Feb. 24

    To Anaheim: F Patrick Eaves
    To Dallas: ’17 conditional 2nd-round pick (link)

    Feb. 23

    To Pittsburgh: D Ron Hainsey
    To Carolina: F Danny Kristo, ’17 2nd-round pick (link)

    Feb. 20

    To Calgary: D Michael Stone
    To Arizona: ’18 3rd-round pick, ’18 conditional 5th-round pick (link)

    Feb. 18

    To Toronto: F Sergey Kalinin
    To New Jersey: D Viktor Loov (link)

    Feb. 15

    To Washington: D Tom Gilbert
    To Los Angeles: ’17 conditional 5th-round pick (link)

    Feb. 4

    To Nashville: F Vernon Fiddler
    To New Jersey: ’17 4th-round pick (link)