Just yesterday we heard that Edmonton goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin was going through Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “tent city” to do some hard time. Tonight, we’ve found out that only half of that statement is true. He will still spend his sentence in Tent City—but it’s going to be difficult to sell anyone that this is hard time. Listen to this: from 9:00am until 9:00pm, he’ll be free to go wherever he wants and do pretty much as he pleases. When 9:00pm rolls around each night, he’ll be required to return to Tent City to do his time each night. As long as he agrees to cut his hair and stays away from alcohol for the 15 days, he’ll be free to kick back and do what he pleases in public.
A spokesman for the Sheriff’s office, Justin Griffin, broke it down for the Edmonton Journal:
“Should Khabibulin fail to abide by jail rules during his 15-day sentence, Griffin said the goalie will be remanded into full custody and will lose all privileges. If Khabibulin refuses to cut his hair, if he shows up late at the end of the days, if there’s alcohol on his breath or he appears intoxicated, that’s it. Pink shorts. Striped jumpsuit.”
Again, let’s be clear: as long as he cuts his hair and stays sober, he can spend 12 hours of each day in the comforts of his own home. And this is the tough part of the sentence. After the 15 nights in Tent City, then he’ll have 15 days of house arrest with an ankle monitor.
“According to a representative of Scottsdale City Court, he will spend 15 days in jail, with the other 15 days to be served at home with an electronic monitoring device. He will start serving the sentence this weekend. Khabibulin must also enter an alcohol treatment program.”
When he starts his sentence this weekend, he’ll be forced to stay in Tent City for at least 48 hours before he can go home during the day. There were promises that Khabibulin would not receive preferential treatment—which is still marginally true. Inmates in Maricopa County are oftentimes allowed to leave during the day so they can work their day jobs before returning to Tent City for the evenings. Even though Edmonton’s training camp doesn’t start until September and the season doesn’t begin until October, he will be able to spend his days at home under the work-release program. As the Edmonton Journal clarified, “it’s not uncommon for DUI offenders to get work release, but that decision rests in the judge’s hands.”
It’s commendable that Khabibulin dropped his appeal to face his sentence earlier this week—but there’s very little downside here. In Arizona, the minimum sentence for a DUI charge is 30 days in jail, $1000 minimum fine, and an alcohol abuse program. Khabibulin was charged with “extreme DUI and reckless driving,” yet will only spend 12 hours per day in Tent City. For half of his sentence. Yet, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said that the Oilers’ goaltender wouldn’t get preferential treatment. Surely, this is how the average Joe’s situation would be handled, right?