Tag: Tent City

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.

Nikolai Khabibulin is home from ‘Tent City’ now

Nikolai Khabibulin
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Edmonton Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has completed half of his punishment for charges related to his extreme DUI incident during the summer of 2010. The Russian goalie can now put 15 days at “Tent City” behind him, as he began the 15-day house arrest portion of the 30-day sentence on Sunday. (Scott Davis of KHPO also points out that he is required to complete an alcohol program and pay a $1,500 fine.)

Barring any unforeseen issues, Khabibulin should be able to participate in the Oilers’ spring training camp sessions. It’s quite possible that he might have some difficulty holding off Devan Dubynk (and maybe even Yann Danis) for playing time, although the Oilers won’t be able to bury his $3.75 million salary cap hit in the minors because of his 35+ contract.

Perhaps both sides can make the best out of a bad situation because Khabibulin’s contract won’t run out until July 2013. It’s reasonable to believe that those off-the-ice issues affected his focus during the last season, but old age and a shaky defense might make it difficult for him to put up significantly better numbers. Then again, some of Khabibulin’s best work came when people expected little of him, so this would fit right in. (The parallels would be even stronger if he was in a contract year, but that won’t happen until 2012-13.)

As long as his 15 days at home go off without a hitch, Khabibulin can continue his attempts to repair his image both on and off the ice as time goes on.

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.

Nikolai Khabibulin will call Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City home for his 15 days in jail

Nikolai Khabibulin
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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.