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Blackhawks Place Khabibulin On Waivers


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http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=251197&lid...=headlines_main

The Chicago Blackhawks have placed goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on waivers as speculation of a trade continues.

Khabibulin was expected to start in Sunday's preseason game against the Dallas Stars but was not on the ice or the bench for the game. Antti Niemi got the start and Corey Crawford served as his back-up. The Blackhawks take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night but no starter has been announced.

''He had a great practice [saturday],'' head coach Denis Savard told the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday. ''We'll give him a couple more days and see what happens. He's ready to play.''

Since the addition of free agent goaltender Cristobal Huet over the summer, the future of Khabibulin in Chicago has become uncertain.

Khabibulin, who won a Stanley Cup with The tampa Bay Lightning in 2005, is in the final year of a four-year, $27 million contract.

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Yup and he won't be claimed the first time around, when he re enters he'll probably be claimed by a team like the Kings or something like that.

Michel Ouelette was the surprise of the day for me, god knows what he's doing on the waivers, he had 2 decent season back to back.

I can see LA taking a stab at Khabibulin.

As for Ouelette, I think it's a case of Tampa's off-season plan which seemed to be "sign as many forwards as possible"

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Interesting.

I wonder if TB would take a stab at him? I know, I know they just signed Kolzig & they have a solid young guy in Smith, but some feel they havent been the same team since letting Khabi walk. He's in the final contract of his deal, so it wouldnt be tons of risk...

will be interesting to watch this one unfold.

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Interesting.

I wonder if TB would take a stab at him? I know, I know they just signed Kolzig & they have a solid young guy in Smith, but some feel they havent been the same team since letting Khabi walk. He's in the final contract of his deal, so it wouldnt be tons of risk...

will be interesting to watch this one unfold.

hip hip Huet!

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My guess is he'll still be in Chicago. He's a hefty cap-hit to take, and they certainly won't be paying him to sit in the AHL. Unless they can work out a trade to take a bit of a cap-hit back from a team with potential interest, there'd be a minimal amount of teams that could afford to take a look, and who knows if their management is willing to take the risk.

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My guess is he'll still be in Chicago. He's a hefty cap-hit to take, and they certainly won't be paying him to sit in the AHL. Unless they can work out a trade to take a bit of a cap-hit back from a team with potential interest, there'd be a minimal amount of teams that could afford to take a look, and who knows if their management is willing to take the risk.

I think in Chicago's case, reentry waivers may make sense. There is really no reason for Khabby considering they have Huet locked up long term. They aren't going to give Khabby the starters position since his contract expires at the end of the season and it would be an incredibly short sighted move, even if he is performing better than Huet. Reentry waivers would clear half of the cap hit (and money owner has to pay) .

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But in that case, why not buy him out?

He's cleared waivers. They're still within the cap. Unless they can find a trading/dumping partner, I still think he'll be sticking around for a while -- Huet's past is a bit of a rollercoaster (some tremendous hot streaks, but injuries and durability are a question), and the 'Hawks seem to want to start winning ASAP.

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But in that case, why not buy him out?

Because the buyout period has been over for awhile now.

But even that aside, a buyout costs the owner more money and has a larger total cap hit. The difference in cap space this season would only be about 1 million and I'm not sure the Blackhawks need the space. It's moot since a buyout can't happen, but I don't really see how it makes much sense for them here.

Huet's past is a bit of a rollercoaster (some tremendous hot streaks, but injuries and durability are a question), and the 'Hawks seem to want to start winning ASAP.

True, but Khabby is done in Chicago after this season anyways, so it's in their best long term interests to play Huet. Considering Huet's contract, they have little choice but to go with him.

It's kind of like Huet with us last season. It wasn't that Price was a better goalie, or even that we necessarily thought Price would do better, but rather that we knew we would be losing Huet at year's end anyways, so it was in our best long term interest to go with Price and Halak.

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Because the buyout period has been over for awhile now.

Touche. D'oh.

True, but Khabby is done in Chicago after this season anyways, so it's in their best long term interests to play Huet. Considering Huet's contract, they have little choice but to go with him.

It's kind of like Huet with us last season. It wasn't that Price was a better goalie, or even that we necessarily thought Price would do better, but rather that we knew we would be losing Huet at year's end anyways, so it was in our best long term interest to go with Price and Halak.

It is a much different scenario though. While he is signed long-term, Huet isn't a rookie and doesn't need to be groomed in the same fashion. He isn't the franchise-type goaltender that you need to get between the pipes ASAP -- honestly, I think the Blackhawks chose to sign him now and see if they could get rid of Khabibulan because they were unsure of what would be available in a year's time.

Surely, Huet will more than likely be the starter, and that's fine -- but they've already seen that they can't get anything for Khabby's salary at this point, and unless they really NEED the cap space it isn't hurting them tremendously to hold on.

I still think their best bet is to take a "wait and see" approach.

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It is a much different scenario though. While he is signed long-term, Huet isn't a rookie and doesn't need to be groomed in the same fashion. He isn't the franchise-type goaltender that you need to get between the pipes ASAP -- honestly, I think the Blackhawks chose to sign him now and see if they could get rid of Khabibulan because they were unsure of what would be available in a year's time.

Huet may not need 'groomed', but I don't think spending a season as a backup would be good for him. They signed him to a four year deal worth large dollars. For better or worse, he basically has to be the starter for the 3 seasons following this one. When you make that sort of commitment to a player, I don't believe you will see him benched no matter how he performs. So I just don't see the need for a 3 million (amount extra than if he went on re-entry waivers) insurance policy.

But let's say Huet stinks, you give the starters job to Khabby, then what next year? You have a 5 million goaltender who just spent the season as a backup, he's probably untradeable, you probably don't have the cap space to sign someone else, so you need to go back to him anyways. I think based on his contract, for better or worse, you have to go with Huet.

Surely, Huet will more than likely be the starter, and that's fine -- but they've already seen that they can't get anything for Khabby's salary at this point, and unless they really NEED the cap space it isn't hurting them tremendously to hold on.

I still think their best bet is to take a "wait and see" approach.

There's one thing you're forgetting about: the salary itself. Chicago may not need the cap space, but let's say Khabby would be taken on reentry waivers, that's 3 million extra you could save. Now if he sits on the bench most games and performs the same function a young player could for 1 million, that's 2 million dollars getting sucked from the owner's pockets for basically nothing. I'm not saying Chicago isn't willing to spend to the cap, but at the same time you don't want to waste money just to get there. I think we as fans, and I've been guilty of this, can ignore that factor at times. I criticized Gainey for the bad cap management with the Brisebois signing, but in his defense it was a good move from an actual money standpoint.

Additionally, I think Khabby is getting a bit disgruntled and wants out, I'm not sure if the young up and coming team really needs the disgruntled veteran.

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But let's say Huet stinks, you give the starters job to Khabby, then what next year? You have a 5 million goaltender who just spent the season as a backup, he's probably untradeable, you probably don't have the cap space to sign someone else, so you need to go back to him anyways. I think based on his contract, for better or worse, you have to go with Huet.

B.G. would have found a way to get rid of that multy million dollar underacheiving goalie. :lol:

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I haven't forgotten about the money, it's just tough to know exactly the intentions or desires of ownership in that sense.

But say Huet stinks AND you've already shipped out Khabibulan -- what do you do now? You're up-the-creek without a paddle, and risk a major tumble down the standings.

I totally agree that it's a lot of money to pay for insurance. And if ownership doesn't want to pay it, they'll certainly do what the must to get him out, no questions there. However, it all comes down to how much they feel the insurance is worth.

Plus, it's probably much easier to move a goalie like Khabibulan as the trade-deadline (or even Christmas) approaches; there are almost always teams in need of a veteran presence for a stretch run, or teams that run into long-term goaltending issues (ie. injury, etc).

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I haven't forgotten about the money, it's just tough to know exactly the intentions or desires of ownership in that sense.

Exactly. Which is why reentry waivers may make sense for them (as opposed to Anaheim, where it didn't really make much sense).

But say Huet stinks AND you've already shipped out Khabibulan -- what do you do now? You're up-the-creek without a paddle, and risk a major tumble down the standings.

But thats the thing, I think if Huet stinks and you have Khabby, you have to go with Huet anyways: let him get better. We all know first hand how difficult it is to bench a 5 million starter: here some even say Gainey fired Julien due to it (although that is at the least exagerated). In our case, the only saving grace was that Gainey somehow found a trading partner. In Huet's case, he has 3 years after this one, all paying him good money. I don't think Chicago necessarily feels "this is the year", so it's probably best to try to play through any problems Huet is having, as tempting as it may be to do otherwise.

Plus, it's probably much easier to move a goalie like Khabibulan as the trade-deadline (or even Christmas) approaches; there are almost always teams in need of a veteran presence for a stretch run, or teams that run into long-term goaltending issues (ie. injury, etc).

That's true, and it could be the route they take

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this started in the Habs lines for 2008-09 thread but it belongs here...

if the Hawks send Khabibulin to play in the KHL, he would be off their books, but he would still be subject to waivers (which he has already cleared), and, if the Hawks wanted to bring him back this season, re-entry waivers... there's a letter in the back of the CBA that re-defines a Minor League to mean any pro league that is not the NHL (thanks to Chip at nhlscap.com for answering a lot of questions tonight)...

also, I'm not sure but I may have said or at least implied that anyone and everyone who had to clear waivers also had to clear re-entry waivers, that is not true... if the player's minor league salary is below $100k (rising to $105k by the end of the CBA), he is exempt from re-entry waivers (this is where a player's two-way contract may enter into the discussion, a player on a one-way would definitely make more than the limit)... also, certain veterans would be exempt from re-entry waivers if they've played a minimum number of NHL, AHL or ECHL games but haven't spent much time in the NHL the past 2 seasons... (Denis and Henry would not be exempt from re-entry waivers unless they made $100k or less in Hamilton)...

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this started in the Habs lines for 2008-09 thread but it belongs here...

if the Hawks send Khabibulin to play in the KHL, he would be off their books, but he would still be subject to waivers (which he has already cleared), and, if the Hawks wanted to bring him back this season, re-entry waivers... there's a letter in the back of the CBA that re-defines a Minor League to mean any pro league that is not the NHL (thanks to Chip at nhlscap.com for answering a lot of questions tonight)...

also, I'm not sure but I may have said or at least implied that anyone and everyone who had to clear waivers also had to clear re-entry waivers, that is not true... if the player's minor league salary is below $100k (rising to $105k by the end of the CBA), he is exempt from re-entry waivers (this is where a player's two-way contract may enter into the discussion, a player on a one-way would definitely make more than the limit)... also, certain veterans would be exempt from re-entry waivers if they've played a minimum number of NHL, AHL or ECHL games but haven't spent much time in the NHL the past 2 seasons... (Denis and Henry would not be exempt from re-entry waivers unless they made $100k or less in Hamilton)...

Interesting. Anybody have any idea of what Denis and Henry's AHL salary might be????

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