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Trade Bait: Nikolai Khabibulin

Mar 27, 2013, 11:50 AM EDT

Nikolai Khabibulin Getty Images

The NHL’s trade deadline is Wednesday, April 3. Following is a player that may be moved. For more “Trade Bait,” click here.

Nikolai Khabibulin‘s 43-save shutout versus the Blues on Tuesday couldn’t have come at a better time for the Oilers. Not only did Edmonton badly need the win to stay in the playoff race, it was able to showcase a potential trade chip in its veteran goalie.

Khabibulin, 40, is in the final year of a contract that features a salary and cap hit of $3.75 million. Yes, he had hip surgery in April and was forced to start the season on injured reserve, but he’s feeling much better now.

“When your body doesn’t hurt as much, it makes it more fun,” he said last night after being named the game’s first star.

In seven appearances this season, Khabibulin is 3-3-1 with a 1.93 goals-against average and .941 save percentage.

Who might be interested in adding a rental goalie at the deadline? Well…

St. Louis has the worst team save percentage in the NHL (.883).

Free-falling Carolina may want to make a move. Like, right now.

Toronto could use a veteran to guard against another late-season collapse.

And as hard as Blackhawks fans try to convince themselves it’s not, Chicago’s goaltending is still a question mark heading into the playoffs. It was great in January and February; it hasn’t been fantastic in March.

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