Oilers ink Khabibulin for $15M
The Edmonton Oilers lost one starting goalie but gained another on Wednesday, as they landed free agent Nikolai Khabibulin with a four-year deal worth $15 million US.
The netminder split time evenly with Cristobal Huet last year in Chicago, but took over the starting job in the playoffs. He posted a .919 save percentage and a 2.33 goals-against average in the regular season.
The Oilers lost starter Dwayne Roloson earlier in the day, as the goalie signed a two-year deal with the New York Islanders.
Khabibulin had a terrible time in his first three seasons with Chicago after signing a big four-year contract. He only posted a winning record (barely) in 2007-08, and it prompted the 'Hawks to land Huet last season.
Chicago actually went as far as to place Khabibulin on waivers last September, with rumours swirling that he was returning to Russia.
But that seemed to spark the "Bhulin Wall," who posted a sparkling 25-8-7 record with three shutouts in 2008-09 as he led the Blackhawks to their first conference final since 1995.
By signing with the Oilers, the 36-year-old is taking a pay cut of $3 million US a season compared with his big payday in the Windy City.
In 678 career games, Khabibulin has a 299-267-21 record with 41 shutouts, a .908 save percentage and a 2.67 GAA.
He won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004 and has played in four all-star games.
With files from The Associated Press