Bulin Wall Being Torn Down in Chicago?

Surprising almost nobody, the Blackhawks have placed Nikolai Khabibulin on waivers.  Folks have been speculating about Khabibulin’s fate since the Hawks signed Cristobal Huet to a monster free agent contract in the summer.  The most popular rumors have Khabibulin headed to LA since A) they are way under the minimum salary level and B) they’ve struggled in the crease for years.  In the “new” NHL era I can understand the Kings signing him for salary cap reasons.  But isn’t their long term success better served by continuing their youth movement and developing the goalies currently in their system?

UPDATE: Khabibulin cleared waivers so now the Blackhawks can get serious about their two-goalie situation.  Erik Duhatschek points out the Hawks have made it clear they intend to accommodate Huet as much as possible so we should see a move earlier than later.  Duhatschek confirms LA as the likely destination but also suggests GM Dale Tallon has some other (surprising) options.

The bottom line is the bottom line, so I won’t be surprised to see the Bulin Wall in the Hollywood Hills, but that sure is a lot of money for a non-playoff team to spend on a first-string goalie.  Some might say let Khabibulin clear waivers and then work out a deal where Chicago pays part of his salary but the Kings won’t want to part with any of their prospects and if they really need the $6M to get to the cap floor they can’t take a chance on the Hawks sending him to a higher bidder.  Khabibulin would substantially improve the Kings but not enough to make the playoffs and more than enough to miss a lottery pick.   But bottom line wins out in the no-longer-new NHL so my money is on a new purple and black paint job for the Bulin Wall mask.

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1 Comment

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