UPDATED: D-day for Rekhabi… found guilty on 3 charges

By , August 26, 2010 10:58 pm
Rekhabi looks good in orange..

Rekhabi looks good in orange..

Friday (August 26th… tomorrow.. today… yesterday, depending on when you read this) is the day Nikolai Khabibulin finds out his fate (assuming no more delays).

For those who have been living in a hole, or who google this article 12 years from now, Khabibulin was arrested for Extreme DUI on February 8, 2010 – caught ripping around in his Ferrari with a blood-alcohol level of 0.16% (2x the legal limit). If found guilty, Rekhabi could face a minimum of 30 days in federal, pound-me-in-the-ass prison. OK, really, it’s more likely to be a pretty cush prison, once attended by the likes of Lindsay Lohan, and not a maximum security prison like wherever Robert Downey Jr. has spent 16 of the last 20 years of his life.

Read on here, in the Edmonton Journal article (which has thrilling information in the article such as what color of underwear inmates at Tent City in Arizona wear – pink).

I still think Khabibulin is our best bet in goal this year (Martin Gerber included) if healthy and if un-incarcerated. But that said, I don’t really have sympathy for drunk drivers.

UPDATED: The trial is set for 2:30PM MST.

UPDATE 2 (@5:30PM): Khabibulin has been found guilty on 3 of the 4 charges: DUI over 0.08, extreme DUI (over 0.16) and excessive speeding. The charge of impairment to the slightest degree was thrown out. Sentencing will occur at a later date, but assuming no changes in the ruling (not sure if this part can be appealed??), Khabibulin will spend at least 30 days in prison.

UPDATE 3 (@6:05PM): Tentative sentencing date, pending approval by the state: August 31st… moving pretty fast, which is good for Rekhabi.

UPDATE 4 (@7:00PM): Tweeted by John Shannon of Sportsnet: “NHL source confirms a suspension from the league is possible.”

Update 5 (@7:45PM): The Oilers have released an official statement on the ruling:

Edmonton Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini released the following statement regarding today’s decision from the Scottsdale City Court.

“The Edmonton Oilers acknowledge and respect the decision handed down today by the Scottsdale City Court to goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin. Both Nikolai and the Oilers organization recognize the severity of what has transpired. We plan on meeting with Nikolai, his agent and the National Hockey League in the near future.”

Once sentencing has been imposed on Tuesday, August 31st, Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini will be available to the media.

Edmonton Oilers hockey is presented in part by the Rexall Family of Pharmacies, Molson Canadian, ATB Financial, TELUS, Cenovus Energy and Ford.

UPDATE 6 (@11:15AM, Aug 28): Per Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet: “Nik Khabibulin’s sentence hearing in Phoenix is scheduled for Tuesday @ 3 pm MST”. Also per John Shannon of Sportsnet: “Don’t be surprised if the Oilers discipline Khabibulin soon after Tuesday’s sentence.”

102 Responses to “UPDATED: D-day for Rekhabi… found guilty on 3 charges”

  1. MetalOil says:

    Racki: I hear you, but don’t bet on it… I would be absolutely blown away if Tambellini used the rare-used (in any sport) morals clause on his “MVP”.

    Okay do not use the morals clause to get out of his contract then. Use the fact that he will not be at camp therefor will not live up to the expectations of his contract. Did Tamby say he would not use morals clause in this case? Did he say anything about getting out of his contract due to not being at camp? Simply put there are now two ways to get out of his contract. 1) Morals Clause & 2) Failure to adhere to terms of his contract. This should make Tamby’s job much easier !!!

  2. Racki says:

    MetalOil:
    Okay do not use the morals clause to get out of his contract then. Use the fact that he will not be at camp therefor will not live up to the expectations of his contract. Did Tamby say he would not use morals clause in this case?Did he say anything about getting out of his contract due to not being at camp? Simply put there are now two ways to get out of his contract. 1) Morals Clause & 2) Failure to adhere to terms of his contract.This should make Tamby’s job much easier !!!

    My point is this.. have you listened to Tambellini talk about Khabi? (Serious question, not being a jerk about it) He still calls him the team MVP. “We were doomed last season because we lost our MVP to injury” (paraphrased, but that was a recent comment of his).

    I am just saying that I don’t think Tambellini sees Khabibulin like we do. Khabibulin’s contract was a big mistake, but Tambellini still sees him as one of the team’s best players, unfortunately. Whether he’s just delusional, or trying to hide the fact that he effed up on that singing, I don’t know. But I just don’t think he will dump Khabibulin in any way.

    Should he? Absolutely. But will he? I don’t think so at all.

  3. chucker says:

    Racki: I hear you, but don’t bet on it… I would be absolutely blown away if Tambellini used the rare-used (in any sport) morals clause on his “MVP”.

    I don’t think he has a choice. Fans won’t support him being here. Cut and dry. The PR flak it would cause for him to play here is unimaginable at a time when the team is seen as a model franchise. Standing up and saying he’s not up to the morals that the organization holds its players accountable to would be very popular and they can always assign him to the K as well.

    He’s done. Remember, the 30 days is the minumum for only the extreme DUI. He’s guilty on two other charges in a county and state that loves to make examples of “foreign workers”. I know he’s not Mexican, but American’s are not exactly in love with Russians either. He’s done.

    I hear what you’re saying Racki about ST, but the guy will take a beating if he keeps Khabbi here. I really see no choice in the matter at all.

    He may not even have a choice if AZ does what it does to all foreign workers charged and convicted of crimes. i.e. Removal of all travel privelages/visas and back to where you came from. They are hard core there.

  4. Racki says:

    Actually I dug up the comment, and it wasn’t exactly quoted, but Tambellini had said that he felt Khabibulin would have been our MVP before he got hurt. And Rick Olczyk recently reiterated the MVP thoughts, and also said that the Oilers wouldn’t likely void his contract if found guilty. Now, a few caveats here. A) “Wouldn’t likely” doesn’t mean jack shit. B) Never trust a lawyer’s word, ever. C) Never trust anything that any hockey personality says ever either. lol

    So really, it’s not out of the realm of possibility, I’m just saying don’t count on it.. I’d be really surprised if they voided his contract. But that surprise would be overwhelmed by sheer fucking glee.

    @Chucker: I’m not so sure the KHL is an option due to the 35 and over clause. See Bob McKenzie’s “cap hit stays, even if abducted by aliens” comment.

  5. MetalOil says:

    Fair enough and I do think you are right unfortunately. If Steve fails to put his ego aside (He signed the guy and may not wanna make himself look bad) then he loses a ton of the respect that I have for him and I feel that I would not be alone in this. He MUST do what is right for the team, It is his Job. If he doesn’t and I am Katz then I overstep my bounderies and I tell him that I ain’t signing Khabbys next check !

  6. Racki says:

    @chucker part deux: Before the start of the season, no one would have believed that they could pull off the PR to have Comrie come back either.

    Sorry to be a pessimist, I just can’t see Tambo doing it. I *WANT* him to dump him, but I can’t see it. And you have to look at it from the other angle that while the PR with fans (who will watch the games no matter what) might be nothing compared to the wrath of the NHLPA for doing that to one of their players (right thing to do or not).

  7. chucker says:

    Just watched on Global that Kevin Karius said “The Edmonton Oilers were hoping sentencing would be done today.”

    That tells me they want to know so they can sign somebody and kill his contract.

  8. Racki says:

    MetalOil: Fair enough and I do think you are right unfortunately. If Steve fails to put his ego aside (He signed the guy and may not wanna make himself look bad) then he loses a ton of the respect that I have for him and I feel that I would not be alone in this. He MUST do what is right for the team, It is his Job. If he doesn’t and I am Katz then I overstep my bounderies and I tell him that I ain’t signing Khabbys next check !

    haha, I would lovvvve to see Katz do that. :)

  9. Racki says:

    Tentative sentencing date, pending approval by the state: August 31st… moving pretty fast, which is good for Rekhabi.

  10. Racki says:

    chucker: Just watched on Global that Kevin Karius said “The Edmonton Oilers were hoping sentencing would be done today.”That tells me they want to know so they can sign somebody and kill his contract.

    Are you sure? Again, I know I’m being WAY too pessimistic here, but that could also mean that they just want to get it over with so that he’ll back on the ice sooner than later.

  11. chucker says:

    Racki: Are you sure? Again, I know I’m being WAY too pessimistic here, but that could also mean that they just want to get it over with so that he’ll back on the ice sooner than later.

    Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I think they would at the very least want to know if they have to sign another goalie. 30 days is just the minumum for the extreme DUI. He’ll get more than that because of the other two charges. Also, I doubt this is Tambi/Lowe’s call. I bet Katz will be making his position explicitly clear and I’m thinking it’s going to be “TEAR IT UP!” , as least I hope so.

  12. Racki says:

    Before anyone thinks I’m crazy.. (well maybe you still will, after this comment, but doubtful).. the best thing to happen to the Oilers this year and long term would be to dump Khabi’s contract, and then quickly sign Neimi. Youth all over, but promising youth all over.

  13. chucker says:

    Racki: Before anyone thinks I’m crazy.. (well maybe you still will, after this comment, but doubtful).. the best thing to happen to the Oilers this year and long term would be to dump Khabi’s contract, and then quickly sign Neimi. Youth all over, but promising youth all over.

    This is my dream as well.

  14. Racki says:

    chucker:
    Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I think they would at the very least want to know if they have to sign another goalie.30 days is just the minumum for the extreme DUI.He’ll get more than that because of the other two charges.Also, I doubt this is Tambi/Lowe’s call.I bet Katz will be making his position explicitly clear and I’m thinking it’s going to be “TEAR IT UP!” , as least I hope so.

    Well one other charge is just a lesser DUI (ok, I am not trying to minimize a DUI, I just mean, if you’re charged with extreme DUI, DUI is pretty much implied) and I know can carry a sentence, but probably wouldn’t be much. The other was excessive speeding. I’m not sure how much over the limit he was, but I’m guessing there isn’t much jail time there (or even any). But for sure, yes, he could get 30 days to 6 months for this (plus the other misdemeanors)

    Anyways, see my comment above.. I hope you all realize that I know this would be the best thing ever for the Oilers if they ditched his contract.. I just am simply saying that I don’t think anyone in the Oil org have the balls to do it. But boy do I hope so. It should be noted that I was also in disbelief that he’d get any jail time too.

  15. LateNightOilFan says:

    Just heard the news. Really hoping he has played his last game as an Oiler and that Niemi is in net instead opening night.

  16. Racki says:

    Interesting question for you guys on morals….

    How many of you would be wishing to have Hemsky’s contract torn up if it was him that was caught drinking and driving.

    Is it the drinking and driving that bothers you, or is that his contract is an albatross that bothers you.. food for thought. I can fully admit that it’s all about the contract for me. Yes the DUI bothers me, but if it were Hemsky, I would be all about Hemsky serving through community service and such.

  17. LateNightOilFan says:

    Racki: Interesting question for you guys on morals….How many of you would be wishing to have Hemsky’s contract torn up if it was him that was caught drinking and driving.Is it the drinking and driving that bothers you, or is that his contract is an albatross that bothers you.. food for thought. I can fully admit that it’s all about the contract. Yes the DUI bothers me, but if it were Hemsky, I would be all about Hemsky serving through community service and such.

    It is an interesting question. I never liked the Khabi signing from Day 1 and I’ll admit this makes it even easier to not like it and hope that it disappears for the Oilers sake.

    That said, these guys signed a contract as professionals just like I have (I’m a Chartered Accountant). If I were to act in a non-professional manner and be convicted of a criminal offense I would violate my employment contract and lose my designation as a CA because I would be deemed to have brought disrespect to my profession and a public accounting firm. I knew that when I became a CA 19 years ago and I knew that when I was hired 22 years ago and I accepted those conditions and still abide by them. No excuses – especially when there was absolutely no need for the offense to have occurred in the first place (I can afford a cab just like Khabi could).

    So if Hemsky was convicted of the same offense as Khabi, he would have no excuse either, just like any other person. It would be a harder pill to swallow, but he would have to be held to the same standard just like any other player under a SPC.

    At the very least, suspend the offending player for a season without pay, have them serve their time, go through counselling and retribution and then resume their career.

  18. Racki says:

    Wow, this is something I hadn’t even seen coming:

    From John Shannon of Sportsnet, via Twitter:

    The Khabibulin guilty verdict is one thing…NHL source confirms a suspension from the league is possible..

    That would free the Oilers a bit from the responsibility of such a punishment, preventing backlash from the NHLPA. Although I would suspect that the suspension wouldn’t be long. Certainly not 3 years, so we’d still be screwed in that regard, unless they did try and explore this “morals clause” possibility.

    Really though, how much would suspending Khabibulin benefit us? It would help if we use the jail time + suspension as reasoning to cut ties. But if they don’t do that, then him being suspended part of the year and being in jail for the TC and possibly the start of the season would just ensure that he’s even more rusty when he starts the season here. Although at the very least, i think that’s grounds for a conditioning stint in the AHL.

  19. Racki says:

    Updated the original argument with more information, including a recent statement from the Oilers on the ruling.

    The statement includes one more morsel:

    “Both Nikolai and the Oilers organization recognize the severity of what has transpired. We plan on meeting with Nikolai, his agent and the NHL in the near future.”

  20. zackman35 says:

    I haven’t posted in a week or so but this will be very interesting. Tambo is trying to set a “Culture” through the entire organization as we all know from top to bottom, literally. It will be very interesting to see how he handles this, since he holds Re-Khabi in such high estate… Hopefully he remains true to this “Culture” he has be striving to develop.

  21. dawgtoy says:

    This would be a classic catch 22 IMHO.
    1. Rid yourself of the second worst contract on the team by instating a vague and rarely used clause written within a contract…the morality clause!!!

    2. Stand behind the player as an organization that already has a tarnished reputation in the eyes of many GMs, Players, and hockey minds.

    So my opinion would be to kill this terrible contract and thank the Hockey gods that finally seem to be smiling upon us again. Then by some stroke of genius, the Oil could sign Niemi…the future is so bright…I gotta wear shades!!!

  22. Racki says:

    Yah, well, cross your fingers. I guess Tuesday might be more revealing as to what’s going to happen, as Tambellini says he’ll be available for comment after sentencing. I would imagine we can get a good vibe as to what they’ll do.

  23. chucker says:

    Racki: Interesting question for you guys on morals….How many of you would be wishing to have Hemsky’s contract torn up if it was him that was caught drinking and driving.Is it the drinking and driving that bothers you, or is that his contract is an albatross that bothers you.. food for thought. I can fully admit that it’s all about the contract for me. Yes the DUI bothers me, but if it were Hemsky, I would be all about Hemsky serving through community service and such.

    Interesting question but I’d have to say still boot his ass out.

    I’ve seen a lot of people get killed and severely injured in the 15 years that I was in medical imaging. I have no soft spot for this. Yeah the contract is horrible, but really, if the guy was playing like Miller I’d still feel the same way.

    I just think when you cross that line, it’s a big line and although there is forgiveness and understanding that we all make mistakes, there is no excuse for anyone that drunk to be driving, especially when you can call a friggin’ limo with the change you have in your pocket.

    The other thing is that this organization is trying to build itself into a morally great and skillfully great club. This whole scenario just spits in the face of everything that we are asking of our young players, and quite frankly, I hope it scares the crap out of them that playing is not a right but a tremendous privelage.

    I’m sure he’s a great guy and all, but I really don’t care who the player is. This crap is not something that can be brushed aside just because of who you are and how good or bad your contract is.

    @ Racki on the term, my reasoning in feeling the sentencing will be longer is not the level of the other two charges, but the fact that he was guitly on 3 seperate things for the same incident. I’d have to think that weighs heavily towards extra time and where that ends up on the spectrum, I’m not sure. I do know that county is likely the worst in the U.S. (not kidding) to get caught on this type of stuff. I don’t like his chances for any kind of normal sentence (i.e. only 30 days). I have to think he gets more than the average 30 days. I also truly think he’ll have his visas pulled as well and he won’t be given the ability to work over here anymore. Having said that, I don’t know if he ever became an American citizen or not. I suspect not as the U.S. likely does not allow dual citizenship from Russia. :P

    In summation…..gawd…. :D….there is part of me that wants that contract gone, but even if I didn’t, I can’t see how the organization can move past this and expect the fans of this team to still cheer for him and welcome him back. I also think the NHL will not be very shy about how they feel as the rumblings are already starting.

    Back to the KHL after he does his time I’d have to say.

  24. Bostonoiler says:

    So Tambi said he plans to meet with Khabi, his agent AND THE NHL soon. I really really hope this means that the Oilers are going to use the morals clause and are going to go get Niemi.

    Also TSN said the Oilers could send Souray to the minors. That would be stupid.

  25. Racki says:

    @chucker/LNOF… I admire how you guys answered the question. I probably would have a tough time pinning the same punishment on Hemsky, although that would be the right choice.

    Also @ Chucker: Yes, the reputation Arizona has for handling drunk drivers is quite well known. Definitely not the state he wanted to get caught in, but I am happy that they take it quite seriously.

    I also had been thinking about the visas too. I don’t know what the worst case scenario for all this would be… is it possible he’d get deported back to Russia? Could he be refused right of entry back into Canada? Or would he be allowed into Canada but refused entry into the United States? It could get bad, and well, I think if things get bad like not being able to play in both countries, I would fully EXPECT Tambellini and the Oilers to break that contract.

    It seems a bit wrong to be optimistic over such a negative outcome.. but like everyone, I just want Khabibulin gone.

    Dawgtoy & Timbuk 3 said it best.

  26. Racki says:

    Here’s another thought… why concern ourselves so much with breaking that contract?

    It is a pricey one ($3.6M per, for 3 more years), but the Oilers likely won’t use that cap space this year, and maybe not next year.. and with Souray possibly gone…

    What about dumping Khabibulin in the AHL. Here me out… his contract would not come off the cap if he was demoted to the minors. But he would be “out of sight, out of mind”, and more imporantly, off our starting roster. Maybe if we’re lucky, he takes that as a sign he isn’t wanted here anymore and books it for Russia (at which point, I’m not sure if his cap counts or not.. with this whole +35 thing, but that’s still besides the point).

    I’m suggesting if we aren’t gutsy enough to rip up the contract, we just eat the cost (to save face with the ‘PA, if thats a concern) and just consider that as money we can’t spend on the cap.

    Then, of course, next step would be to go out and get Mr. Niemi.

    The other step would be to waive Souray (if he can’t be traded) and pray he’s claimed. If not, well, I think we revisit this later. When it becomes time that we need the cap space, that’s when we consider him being buried in the AHL, but I don’t think we’d have to go to that point.

    Anyways, I think that if we have to ‘eat’ Khabibulin’s contract, it wouldn’t be completely debilitating. We could still do what we need to do (sign a guy like Neimi.. or even Niemi, or however you spell his damn name!)

  27. gr8one says:

    Wow, I missed a lot while I was out…

    I have a question and a comment…

    Question is, If we were to get Khabi to go play in Europe like the Hawks did with Huet, would he still count against the cap?

    My comment has to do with the comments from management(Olczyk/Tambi) regarding him being the team “MVP” verge on being ridiculous even for layman hockey fans let along guys running teams, they can’t possibly be that dumb, can they?

    so, does the possibility exist that they were making these statements for future PR purposes, in the event of a Khabi conviction…

    Think about it…if you were Tambi and were thinking it at all possible to get out of this contract, would it be more prudent to go on the record saying things like “well, it was a bad decision, we don’t want a guy like that around here, etc, etc…” or, more prudent to make it seem like you’ve aligned yourself with the player, shown public support, and then in the event this drags into TC or the season they can go back and say “while, we really wanted him, we supported him, we even said he was our MVP, but it’s just become too big a distraction and going forward waiting on him, and keeping him around wouldn’t be good for our young team going forward”.

    I mean, it’s a stretch, and quite frankly I don’t think I’d give them that much credit, but it certainly is something to think about.

  28. Racki says:

    Gr8one:

    All Player Salary and Bonuses earned in a League Year by a Player who is in the second or later year of a multi-year SPC which was signed when the Player was age 35 or older (as of June 30 of the League Year in which the SPC is to be effective), but which Player is not on the Club’s Active Roster, Injured Reserve, Injured Non Roster or Non Roster, and regardless of whether, or where, the Player is playing, except to the extent the Player is playing under his SPC in the minor leagues, in which case only the Player Salary and Bonuses in excess of $100,000 shall count towards the calculation of Averaged Club Salary;

    Translation: yes, he counts to the cap if playing in Europe.

    Sooooo… more thoughts surrounding this (we’re going in circles here, as we’ve talked about this months ago). What’s his status on entry to Canada or even US (think Bob Probert)? There’s been some chatter about this on OilersNation and Lowetide.

    I’m wondering his citizenship. One blog that we dug up in the past was “Phoenix Attorney Blog”. They mention here that he is not a Canadian citizen (I can’t confirm that though). Anyways, if he isn’t a Canadian citizen, he might not be able to play here. So what if he isn’t a U.S. citizen either, will he get deported to Russia? I think he’s a U.S. citizen though.. but imagine if he couldn’t play in N.A. for 5 years. That would guarantee the end of his NHL career.

    I would have to think though that if he is in fact denied entry into Canada, he would have his contract torn up by the Oil. It was OK for Bob Probert, because you don’t need him playing many games, and he played on an American team anyways (meaning he still got to play a lot of games). Missing a guaranteed 60-ish games as a goaltender each year and paying 3.6M per year for it (no way out of that either, unless he got injured and went on LTIR)? Well that’s pretty useless. They’d HAVE to take the out in this case…

  29. Racki says:

    Interesting.. never saw this police report before:

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/pdf/20100217053003749.pdf

  30. Racki says:

    Kind of random, but Khabi actually admitted to doing 80mph (was charged for going 70mph, as thats what the radar showed).

  31. Racki says:

    Edmonton Journal article on Khabi

    More on this here. Asks some of the questions we wonder (can we break the contract.. can he travel to US..) to an agent, and some other stuff here. Nothing too concrete for answers though.

  32. LateNightOilFan says:

    Racki: Edmonton Journal article on KhabiMore on this here. Asks some of the questions we wonder (can we break the contract.. can he travel to US..) to an agent, and some other stuff here. Nothing too concrete for answers though.

    Gotta love this line “How motivated do you think he’ll be?”

    If he does stay on board, no matter how ugly it got in the process, he damn well better be motivated to redeem himself on the ice to the team who originally gave him 4 years when everyone else was offering 2 (remember him giggling about that?), who was still paying him when he was supposedly recovering from surgery when he committed a stupid and unecessary offense. He’d be pretty motivated to redeem himself to the team, his fans, himself and his family I would think.

  33. dawgtoy says:

    Back when Probert got into all his legal trouble, I seem to remember he played only home games and games in the States, as he was not allowed to cross the border???

  34. Racki says:

    Dawgtoy: from what I understand, he could have crossed into Canada, but wouldn’t have been allowed re-entry into the U.S. if he did come into Canada. So yes, he stayed in the U.S. for that reason and played several more games just skipping the games in Canada (playing in Detroit, he wouldn’t have missed much). I’m not sure what factor citizenship plays here (being born in Canada, I presume that would allow him to cross over) and if times have changed at all since then.

    Oh and I’m not sure if it was mentioned here yet, but there is a process for applying for an exclusion
    which could take some time, but might allow him to go back and forth. It’s also limited from what I understand to a half a year or something before he’d have to reapply.

    LateNightOilFan:
    Gotta love this line “How motivated do you think he’ll be?”If he does stay on board, no matter how ugly it got in the process, he damn well better be motivated to redeem himself on the ice to the team who originally gave him 4 years when everyone else was offering 2 (remember him giggling about that?), who was still paying him when he was supposedly recovering from surgery when he committed a stupid and unecessary offense.He’d be pretty motivated to redeem himself to the team, his fans, himself and his family I would think.

    Yah you know, there is that outcome where if he gets a second chance, he can really turn things around and prove to everyone what he’s got. Steve-O commented a few times that Khabibulin is a “contract goalie” (only shows up before a contract year)… well now’s pretty much a contract year for him.

  35. chucker says:

    The travel issue is the one that I think makes this whole thing very interesting in terms of potentially forcing the Oilers to have to cut him.

    Maybe they show leniancy and let him work since he has the potential to do more good than the average Joe. Who knows at this point? The Probert situation is the one that made me think about this.

    Perhaps some sort of a community involvement program can be worked out that lets him keep his visas etc. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

    I do feel for the guy though; Don’t get me wrong on that one. I’m extremely sure he’s a good guy who did a very, very stupid thing and he fully regrets what he’s done. It’s just a bad situation no matter how you look at it.

  36. victoriaoilerfan says:

    dawgtoy: Back when Probert got into all his legal trouble, I seem to remember he played only home games and games in the States, as he was not allowed to cross the border???

    Dawgtoy and Racki. I went to the Wings message board awhile back and asked if anyone knew what went on in the Probert situation and how he was allowed to cross the border to play games.
    I got several responses from old timers that knew about what went on. One of the posters worked for the Sheriifs dept at the time. He said tht legal officials came to an agreement that Probert could cross the border as long as he attended regular abuse counciling meetings. If he missed one he would not be allowed to enter the US.
    I had all the exact details and did post them on the OMB, but my history doesn’t go back far enough to retrieve the info. Damn it was interesting how Proberts deal worked out. I wish I could re post the information to you guys.

  37. MetalOil says:

    I will give one reason why it may not be smart to try and use the morals clause or the breach of contract to rip up khabbys contract.
    If Steve Tambellini does try this and the NHLPA successfully challenges it then we are stuck in a situation that would be far worse then the one involving Souray. How on earth could we possible put Khabby back between the pipes after trying to exile him off the team.

    I guess Tamby really has to do some research here and get some big time legal advice before he proceeds with this if this is the route he wants to take.

  38. Racki says:

    MetalOil:

    My response to that.. first of all, it’s a pretty valid concern/fear. My answer though is way above. We’ve got the cap space. If they DID go that route (which again, I really doubt they would), they could still be OK cap wise if they moved Khabibulin away from the team… OKC… ECHL… convince him to go to the KHL. Yes, his cap hit would still be there, but “out of sight, out of mind”? Think Yashin, in a sense (although he was actually bought out).

    Actually, on that note, a more amiable way of doing it would be to just buy him out. Again, his cap hit is still there in whole, but it’s all about removing a guy who is potentially detrimental to the team from our Utopia. ;)

    Now it would take HUGE brass balls by Tambellini to admit that he was wrong, and the fans could eat him alive, but they already are on that contract.. it would gain respect from me for him to be able to admit he was wrong, for one, rather than to keep pimping him as the MVP.

    Anyways, just another thought there.

    Also, I think the NHL may suspend Khabibulin… if it’s a longer term suspension (a month or more) that could be a good aid in our corner for removing this contract somehow without looking like the big bad, ugly organization.

    Just some thoughts on that. Personally, if I were in this role, I’d call up Cliff Fletcher to come in and do some dirty work. lol Start with trying to void the contract. If the NHL files a grievance, buy out the contract, suck it up, and eat that big $3.6M cap hit for 3 years, but we currently have $9.4M cap space (without Gagner/Cogliano though) including Khabibulin to work with, and that’s assuming our rookies hit every one of their bonuses.

    The other alternative is to suck it up, make peace with Khabibulin and give him a second chance.

    Edit: also, I suppose if things got hairy cap wise, there is the option of burying Souray’s contract too. Btw, all this stuff i speak of will never happen.. just saying it would be an option :P Btw, all this stuff is something to act upon if the Oilers REALLY believe that Khabi is too big of a distraction.

  39. Racki says:

    P.S. Per Nick Kypreos tweet: Nik Khabibulin’s sentence hearing in Phoenix is scheduled for Tuesday @ 3 pm MST.

    Also per John Shannon of Sportsnet: “Don’t be surprised if the Oilers discipline Khabibulin soon after Tuesday’s sentence.”

  40. MetalOil says:

    How do you think Katz would feel about having to potentially pay $8.1M for players making not even making a contribution on the big team with them being burred in the minors(Khabbys $3.6 + Sourays 4.5(his actual pay)) For a team that apparently does not turn a profit I do not think he would be too pleased with this.

    I could see Katz swallowing the pill on Souray sitting in the minors(if that is what happens) but not both of these players.

  41. chucker says:

    MetalOil: How do you think Katz would feel about having to potentially pay $8.1M for players making not even making a contribution on the big team with them being burred in the minors(Khabbys $3.6 + Sourays 4.5(his actual pay)) For a team that apparently does not turn a profit I do not think he would be too pleased with this. I could see Katz swallowing the pill on Souray sitting in the minors(if that is what happens) but not both of these players.

    Yeah, there’s a “Hitler learns about Khabbi’s DUI and Shelley can’t be traded tirade” needed to be done on Youtube.

    How do you explain this stuff to Katz? Ugg.

  42. Racki says:

    MetalOil: How do you think Katz would feel about having to potentially pay $8.1M for players making not even making a contribution on the big team with them being burred in the minors(Khabbys $3.6 + Sourays 4.5(his actual pay)) For a team that apparently does not turn a profit I do not think he would be too pleased with this.
    I could see Katz swallowing the pill on Souray sitting in the minors(if that is what happens) but not both of these players.

    I only suggested both players because it’s “an option”. I don’t think it would be a necessary one as we’ve actually got a pretty comfortable cap buffer right now.

    As for how Katz would feel.. I have no idea. I am not Daryl Katz and neither of us can answer that. For all we know he would do it because he thinks it would be a big benefit to the team in the long run to have a young up and coming goaltender in here developing along with the rest of the young core. I doubt he would be jumping up for joy, but he might do it.. I really don’t know. Only he can answer something like that.

    But again, it wouldn’t be necessary to have the combined Souray and Khabi contracts in the minors.

    Really, it all centers (to me) around the likelihood that Khabibulin will help this team or not while here. Whether he’s helping this team or not, Katz is still paying the $3.6M tab. So the way I see it, if Khabibulin is a huge distraction, or detrimental to the team, or can’t play in Canada, or things like that, then he’s better off just eating that money he’d be paying anyways and investing an extra $1.5M-2M for a goaltender of the future.

    I’m not necessarily saying that Khabibulin is going to be that big distraction/problem though. Just saying if it starts to become a big issue (hasn’t gotten there just yet, imho), there is an out still, albeit not a fun one.

    It’s all about the lesser of two evils and figuring out what is best for the team in the long run. Katz is a smart man. If he sees that dropping Khabibulin and sucking up the cost will benefit the team in the long haul, he’ll do it. If he feels that 3 years isn’t that long of a time to risk it with “MVP” he’ll do that. Bottom line though is it isn’t always about “money now”.

  43. chucker says:

    Just thinking out loud here…

    Any possibility of the NHL making an exception to the over 35 rules for a case like this if the Oilers want to “buy him out”? I don’t know if there’s some kind of provision if both sides agree to a deal of some kind. I think Shaninan’s deal was cleared that way. Not sure though.

    My other question is this: What do you think the fan reaction would be if Khabbi does his time, clears visas etc. and returns to play? Do the fans welcome him back? Can the organization take that chance?

    I don’t know. We’ve had some pretty controversial players here over the years, especially in the glory years, and even recently with MacT as coach who have done similar things. Does Edmonton forgive as long as he plays his best? I don’t know, but maybe.

  44. Racki says:

    Chucker, to answer your last question… it’s all about “what have you done for me lately here”… you know that.

    Comrie was hated even when he donned the jersey right up until that night where he scored two goals, two assists and got into a fight. The fans gave him a standing ovation, and it was “welcome back, Mike, we missed you!” suddenly.

    If Khabibulin comes back, it might be a tough go at first, but if he battles and wins us some games, the fans will open the arms up to welcome him back and forget about the incident.

    We don’t ever forget here, but we certainly forgive if the player does well enough. And the reverse is true as well.. if you were a great player for 5 years and are sucking this year, we’ll chase you out of town. You know how it is ;)

  45. chucker says:

    Racki: Chucker, to answer your last question… it’s all about “what have you done for me lately here”… you know that.Comrie was hated even when he donned the jersey right up until that night where he scored two goals, two assists and got into a fight. The fans gave him a standing ovation, and it was “welcome back, Mike, we missed you!” suddenly. If Khabibulin comes back, it might be a tough go at first, but if he battles and wins us some games, the fans will open the arms up to welcome him back and forget about the incident. We don’t ever forget here, but we certainly forgive if the player does well enough. And the reverse is true as well.. if you were a great player for 5 years and are sucking this year, we’ll chase you out of town. You know how it is

    Yeah this was my thinking as well. If he gets the opportunity to play here, I think he’ll be given a fair shake by the fans. If he plays well, which would seem likely given that he’ll be on a mission to prove himself again and re-gain some respect, then you’re right. He’ll be given the warm reception.

    After all, we are bipoiler. ;)

  46. Racki says:

    I have to wonder what effect the time in the slammer would do. It’s not going to be a super long stretch or anything, but he’ll probably get around 2 months in that “Tent City” which sounds 10x worse than real camping (lawl). Will he be afraid to take showers with the rest of the team?

    Protect your five hole, Khabi!

  47. Steve-O says:

    MetalOil: For a team that apparently does not turn a profit I do not think he would be too pleased with this.

    This is obvious bullshit…the team has bragged before about making 120mil per, and only pay out 59 mil to the players.

    They can’t cry about being poor when wanting a new arena and then turn around and brag about making money to other people.

    If they are not making a profit its only by gross negligence by their management office…

    Sorry about going off on a tangent.

  48. Racki says:

    More on the Khabi-saga, courtesy of Sportsnet:

    It’s expected that Khabibulin will miss two to three regular season games, forfit some of his salary and will be asked to do public service to support MADD.

  49. Racki says:

    So it sounds like mainstream media is for keeping Khabibulin around. The common thought is that the Oilers do punish him with a suspension, and make him do some sort of tour of shame to speak on the evils of partying like a rock-star at 37.

    I have to say that I’m pretty confident that the Oilers will take that route too. I think the idea that the Oilers will tear his contract up is wishful thinking (and I admit that it’s wishful thinking on my part!). My other idea of just sending him to the minors and eating the salary/cap would be wishful thinking too.

    I think he will likely be back on the team around December to January. Might as well accept it now :P What to do in the meantime? Gerber + Dubnyk? Send JDD down?

  50. gr8one says:

    Yeah, I don’t think they really have a choice but to back Khabi on this.

    I’m sure they would like an “out”, just like all of us wish there was some way this could be used to rid us of that contract, but I just don’t see it working.

    For one, the team has a history and thus has showed precedent that it is willing to overlook drinking offenses(MacT, Heatley). And far worse ones at that, I think it’s hard to just last summer BEG someone with Heatley’s past to come here and than turn around this year and shit can someone for driving drunk.

    All of that aside, it is also given that they’d be in for a massive fight with the NHLPA as well, it’s just not worth it.

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