Oilers' Khabibulin sentenced to 30 days in jail

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin has been sentenced in Arizona to 30 days in jail for drunk driving but will remain free while his case is appealed.

Goalie remains free and able to leave U.S. with case under appeal

Nikolai Khabibulin (left) speaks to his lawyer Tuesday. ((CBC))
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin was sentenced Tuesday in an Arizona courtroom to 30 days in jail for drunk driving, but he will remain free while his case is under appeal.

Khabibulin's lawyer, Mark Dubiel, told reporters at the Scottsdale City Court that the sentence is stayed pending the appeal, and his client is free to leave the United States.

The NHL team's training camp is scheduled to start Sept. 17 and Khabibulin is preparing to be there, Dubiel said.

"Right now he's looking forward to the season. That's his main focus."

Khabibulin, 37, did not address the court when given an opportunity to do so by Judge B. Monte Morgan. Khabibulin will also have pay a fine and complete an alcohol treatment program if his appeal is unsuccessful.

30 days a minimum sentence

In Edmonton, Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini put off any comment on Khabibulin's future until the appeal is decided.

Oilers GM Steve Tambellini speaks to reporters in Edmonton on Tuesday. ((CBC))
"As far as any discussion of further discipline or actions taken — league, ourselves — obviously that all has to wait," he said. "Can he come to training camp at this point? Yes, he can."

Khabibulin was found guilty Friday of driving under the influence of alcohol, excessive speeding and driving with a blood alcohol limit twice the legal limit.

The verdict stems from an incident in February when he was stopped in his black Ferrari near his Scottsdale home. The 30-day sentence was the minimum Khabibulin could have received. He could have faced as much as six months in jail.

In July 2009, the Oilers signed Khabibulin to a four-year contract worth $15 million. In November, he stopped playing because of back problems, later diagnosed as a herniated disc that required surgery in January.