When Nikolai Khabibulin dropped his appeal over his extreme DUI and reckless driving conviction from last summer and opted to serve his jail sentence, there’s one thing he may not have been counting on when it came time to head to jail. Given that Khabibulin’s crime occurred in Maricopa County in Arizona, he fell under the jurisdiction of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the country’s most radical law enforcement agent.
Instead of denim blues and 15 days behind bars, Khabibulin has a date set in Sheriff Joe’s Tent City and a uniform that instead of your traditional prison blues or orange jumpsuit, takes on a bit of a different look. Not only will things look different, the way things are done in Maricopa County differ from just about everything else you ever thought you knew about jail.
Sheriff Joe does things a little different in Tent City as the Edmonton Journal’s Conal Pierse shares.
“There will be no coffee, no salt, no cigarettes, no porno, no movies,” Arpaio said.
“The only television we give them is the weather channel, so they can see how hot it is.”
The coming weekend is forecast to be a sweltering 41 C (106 F), even hotter under the thick canvas tents.
As if that’s not enough on the restrictions for Khabibulin, he’ll also take on a much different look than he’s used to.
Khabibulin will also have to shave off his long, hockey locks to conform to the jail’s grooming policy, which specifies all inmates have conservative hairstyles with short sideburns. There are also no playoff beards allowed, and inmates can only sport the Sidney Crosby moustache that doesn’t extend past the corners of the mouth.
Inside, the netminder will wear Arpaio’s signature pink boxers — an anti-theft measure brought in after inmates took to smuggling white boxers out of jail to sell — and an old-school black and white striped jumpsuit.
Not only is it pink boxers, but it’s also pink bracelets and pink blankets as well. At the very least, Khabibulin can take some solace in the fact that he’s not the only famous person to spend time at Tent City. Charles Barkley and Mike Tyson have also done time at Sheriff Joe’s strange lawbreaker boot camp and while those guys didn’t spend a lot of time there either, adding Khabibulin’s name to their infamous hall of fame helps Arpaio look tough for booking celebrities there as well as other criminals.
For Khabibulin, having to do work out in Tent City will be humbling but when he opted to give up his appeal and go to jail, he was doing the right thing for owning up to his colossal mistake of driving drunk and going 30 miles per hour over the limit. Doing the crime is one thing and being a celebrity and serving the time is sometimes something else entirely. Here’s to hoping that Khabibulin learns to improve himself after going through all this.
More coaching news on Saturday.
Lindy Ruff’s time with the Dallas Stars ended in April following a disappointing regular season, but it appears he’s found another coaching gig in the NHL.
It is, however, a different role than what he’s been used to for the past 20 years.
Per Larry Brooks of the New York Post, a deal has not been done yet, however, Ruff will join the Rangers as an assistant coach on Alain Vigneault’s staff. He’ll reportedly replace Jeff Beukeboom and will be in charge of New York’s defense.
Ruff certainly brings experience, with 1,165 games coached in the NHL. He’s been a head coach since 1997 when he joined the Buffalo Sabres, and hasn’t been an assistant since a four-year tenure with the Florida Panthers from 1993 to 1997.
The Rangers’ defense has undergone notable changes this offseason, with Dan Girardi getting bought out of his six-year, $33 million contract. With about $20 million now in cap space, New York may not be done making moves to their blue line this offseason.
The Rangers made a blockbuster trade with the Coyotes on Friday, sending Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to the Coyotes in exchange for the seventh overall pick and 21-year-old defenseman Anthony DeAngelo.
The Vegas Golden Knights had a surplus of draft picks in the opening two rounds this weekend, and they used one of those to make a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
The Golden Knights sent the 45th overall pick in this year’s draft to Columbus in exchange for 20-year-old prospect forward Keegan Kolesar, who has spent the last four years with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.
In each of the last two years, Kolesar has put up good numbers, scoring a junior career high of 30 goals and 61 points in 64 games in 2015-16. He had 60 points this past season, but played in 10 fewer games due to a sports hernia surgery, so he was on pace to far exceed his totals from the previous campaign.
He was most impressive for the Thunderbirds in the 2017 WHL playoffs. In 19 games, he scored 12 goals and 31 points. Great production for that time of year. But in addition to those numbers, what may be most intriguing to Vegas is that Kolesar brings tremendous size down the right wing. Standing 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds, his physical play for the Thunderbirds was lauded during their postseason run, which resulted in a Memorial Cup berth.
“Keegan is one of the most important guys to our success,” Thunderbirds coach Steve Konowalchuk told the Columbus Dispatch. “He could easily have been a co-MVP of the playoffs. Not only does he produce a ton of points, but his physical play has had a huge impact on every playoff series.”
Having turned 20 in April, Kolesar will be eligible to play in the AHL or NHL next season, per the Golden Knights.
The L.A. Kings have brought back pending restricted free agent forward Andy Andreoff.
The Kings announced Saturday that they have re-signed Andreoff to a two-year deal worth an annual average value of $677,500.
He appeared in only 36 games last season, spending time on injured reserve, adding two assists. The previous year, however, he played in 60 games for L.A., scoring eight goals with 10 points.
At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, Andreoff is known more for his physical style and checking abilities than offensive production, with 146 penalty minutes combined over the last two seasons.
CHICAGO — His stats jump right off the page.
On a Kingston Frontenacs squad that really struggled to score, Jason Robertson had 42 goals as a 17-year-old. Nobody else on his team had more than 26 goals.
For that reason, the Dallas Stars are hoping they got a steal in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft. Robertson, a winger, went 39th overall Saturday at United Center. A lot of scouts had him pegged as a first-rounder.
So why didn’t he go earlier?
Probably his skating.
“Everyone needs to work on stuff,” Robertson said. “Obviously, for me, I need to work on that. It’s something I’m always going to keep working on.”
But skating didn’t stop Robertson (6-2, 192) from shooting up the prospect rankings in 2016-17. At the midpoint of the season, NHL Central Scouting had him as the 34th-best North American skater. By season’s end, he was 14th.
“I think a lot of it came from confidence,” he said. “I gained more confidence in my game, my skating, my shot. Once I did that in the second half of the year, I really took off.”
He sure did, with 30 of his 42 goals coming in the final 40 games of the regular season. He then added five goals and 13 assists in 11 playoff games.
Robertson was born in Los Angeles, where his dad and grandpa were Kings season-ticket holders. He started playing hockey in L.A., then moved to Detroit when he was 10.