Sports Outside the Beltway

Chicago Blackhawks waive goalie Nikolai Khabibulin

Did a member of management recently listen to the old speech of Ronald Reagan where he says ‘Tear down that wall.’ From AP-

CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has been put on waivers.

Khabibulin is entering the final season of a four-year, $27 million contract. He joined the Blackhawks from Tampa Bay as a free agent after leading the Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup.

The Blackhawks signed free agent goalie Cristobal Huet to a four-year, $22.5 million deal in July, giving them two top goaltenders.

Khabibulin was the Blackhawks’ highest-paid player until defenseman Brian Campbell signed an eight-year, $56.8 million free-agent contract with the team on July 1.

But Khabibulin has been inconsistent and injured over the past three seasons. In 2007-08, he appeared in 50 games, posting a 23-20-6 record with a 2.63 goals against average and .909 save percentage.

Those stats are hardly poor. I expect the player nicknamed ‘The Bulin Wall’ to find employment again quickly. Whether it will be with a NHL team for the 2008-09 season is uncertain.

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