Tag: Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Nikolai Khabibulin

Life after Tent City; Nikolai Khabibulin looks forward to proving doubters wrong

The story of Nikolai Khabibulin’s tumultuous offseason has been well documented. After a DUI trial (and subsequent conviction), Khabibulin was sentenced to 15 days split between work release and Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City in Arizona. 108 degree heat and close quarters weren’t exactly the type of accommodations that he’s grown accustomed to over his 15 seasons in the NHL. This just in: doing “hard time” isn’t a pleasant experience.

With the punishment in his rearview mirror, he took some time to reflect on the experience with the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson. Khabibulin shared experiences that may have differed from most inmates’ experiences. He also shared how the public nature of his trial and punishment affected not only himself, but his family as well.

“There were a lot of people I talked to. Contractors, some are CEOs of companies, some regular people and we all talked about the things we did. We all said if we could get this back, we’d never do it. It’s tough to deal with, especially when you’re in the media. My daughter just turned 19 and she reads the Internet. She wasn’t very happy. It’s not like she was giving me a hard time … she would say something funny to me, but I know she was crying the first few days I was there. That was hard on me. I’m pretty sure with what I’ve done, she’ll learn from this too.”

Now that he’s out and has presumably learned his lesson the hard way, he can attempt to turn his attention to his job: the upcoming hockey season. After earning his current 4-year, $15 million contract with a dominant 2008-09 season in Chicago, he’s struggled to find his form in an Oilers jersey. He looked like he had rediscovered his game during his final season with the Blackhawks as he racked up a 25-8-7 record with a .919 save percentage and a 2.33 goals against average. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that was only two seasons ago.

There’s no questioning that it’s been a rocky Albertan road for Khabibulin thus far. His total record for the Oilers has been 17-41-6 while he’s given up an average of more than 3 goals per game. Then again, the Bulin Wall isn’t the only player who has struggled over the last two seasons in Edmonton. It takes more than one player to earn #1 overall draft picks for two consecutive years.

Despite the chaotic summer and rough two seasons in Edmonton, Khabibulin believes he still has something left in the tank. The Tent City story may have dominated headlines, but it’s the work the netminder has put in behind-the-scenes that he believes will help him turn things around this season. Again, from Matheson’s article:

“When you go on a long losing streak and nothing seems to go right, it’s more discouraging than having lost your confidence. I’ve put a lot of work in this summer, starting earlier, not many days off. I have a little extra motivation this year to be in better shape (he was coming off back surgery last fall) and be quicker. I still have the motivation. You see a guy like (Dwayne) Roloson who is almost 42, who had a pretty good regular season and a really good playoff. I think that’s encouraging for anybody.”

Edmonton fans would love to see Khabibulin channel his inner-Roloson. After all, this is a fanbase who had an up-close and personal look at Roloson’s finest moment as the Oilers rode the goaltender to within a single game of their sixth Stanley Cup. He’s shown in the past that he’s capable of being an elite goaltender when he’s motivated. He was motivated in his final season with the Lightning and helped Tampa win their only Stanley Cup. He was motivated yet again in Chicago and had one of the best seasons in his career.

We’ll see if he’s as motivated as he says he is. If so, back-up goaltender Devan Dubnyk better make sure his baseball cap fits comfortably.

No kidding: Nikolai Khabibulin’s Tent City menu not-so appetizing

Nikolai Khabibulin

Having an NHL star in prison isn’t exactly a common occurrence. After all, we don’t need a counter on our sidebar here at PHT the way the guys at ProFootballTalk do when it comes to arrests. With Nikolai Khabibulin doing his time now at Tent City in Arizona for his extreme DUI and reckless driving charges, you’ll have to forgive us for being more than a little fascinated with how the whole thing plays out.

We’ve found out just what it means for Khabibulin to be at Tent City and having to wear pink boxer shorts among other pink items and spending his days doing hard labor for 12 hours at a time, we get to find out a little bit more about what goes into his accommodations in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s radical prison camp.

One wouldn’t expect that prisoners would have the greatest treatment and if you think guys in prison eat well… Think again. Michelle Thompson of Sun Media went to Tent City to examine the setup there including a taste of what it is the prisoners have to eat. Suffice to say, all the stories about how bad prison food is live up to their hype.

In a cowardly move, I started out with the safe standby, a pre-wrapped oatmeal-with-cream cookie.

It was delicious and devoured instantly.

I was less eager to bite into the rotting orange sitting beside me.

And so, it was onto the sandwich.

After taking a deep breath, I pulled open the lunch meat for a closer inspection.

It was soggy, smelled like eggs, and was covered in black specks.

The bread looked all right though.

Proceeding cautiously, I pulled out a napkin and wiped all the brown specks from the meat, before planting it inside the bun.

I stared at this creation for several minutes, wondering what type of meat I was about to ingest.

My stomach was already queasy from this unbearable Arizona heat, and chasing the sandwich with a mouthful of milk was out of the question.

Then I took a bite.

The sogginess of the meat combined with the dryness of the bread made me gag.

I struggled to swallow just that one bite, before the aftertaste of mould overpowered my tastebuds.

Come for the hard labor and pink underpants, stay for the oatmeal cookie and indigestion.

While we don’t know what Khabibulin’s normal diet is like, we have to think that rotten-looking fruit, gnarly moldy sandwiches, and Little Debbie snack cakes aren’t part of his daily regiment in the offseason. At the very least, the long, hot summer days of breaking rocks in the sun should help him take his mind off the crappy food.

If you didn’t need more lessons as to why breaking the law and drunk driving aren’t worth the trouble, Nikolai Khabibulin’s days in Sheriff Joe’s “fun” camp should provide enough reasons why you should stay on the straight and narrow.

Khabibulin will spend 12 hours per day serving hard time… at home

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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?