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Khabibulin’s season to begin on IR

Jan 18, 2013, 8:18 PM EDT

Nikolai Khabibulin AP

Nikolai Khabibulin‘s contract year is off to a shaky start – on the injured reserve.

The Edmonton Oilers sent along word that the netminder considers himself day-to-day as he continues to recover from hip surgery, which he underwent in April 2012.

Recent history indicates that this is far from a jarring loss for the team; Copper & Blue’s Ryan Batty even describes it as a blessing in disguise. His Edmonton numbers have ranged from mediocre to terrible aside from a surprising hot streak that began the 2011-12 season.

Some abstract thinkers will point out that “The Bulin Wall” has generated some of his best work during contract years, though.

He won a Stanley Cup in his final season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, posting a sterling .933 save percentage in the playoffs. That run convinced the Chicago Blackhawks to shell out a big contract, but the Russian goalie didn’t perform well until he usurped fellow highly paid underachiever Cristobal Huet in 2008-09.

Perhaps he can pull a rabbit out of a hat one more time, but for now, the Oilers will roll with Devan Dubnyk and Yann Danis. Most Edmonton fans won’t urge management to rush Khabibulin back, either.

  1. dreamzilla - Jan 19, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    great..1st off this man stole our $$$$ then he gets a dwi bust …then he proceeds to play lights out and builds our hopes that we can play run and gun cuz the bulin wall is back there and he proceeds to be dismantled brick by brick….now we have dubnyk as the starter and wild card for any chance at the post season always knowing we have at least a semi below average goalie back there to help us and he get hurt and cant recover intime for a lockout short season and the surgery took place LAST APRIL????!! wth?!….and now we call up yan dennis ..great cant we just trade for a goalie ..and no louongo isnt coming to edmonton …but cmon man …we better win alotta 6-5 games like the old dynasty oilers did …cuz we might be in deep trouble if dubnyk stumbles

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