Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Chicago Blackhawks sent goaltender Antti Niemi to Rockford of the American Hockey League on Tuesday, opening the possibility of the team starting the season with Cristobal Huet and Nikolai Khabibulin.
Khabibulin is expected return to the team this week and resume practising, and could possibly play at some point.
from Chris Kuc of the Icing blog at the Chicago Tribune,
Tallon and the Hawks remain in a holding pattern with Khabibulin as they wait for his agent, Ron Grossman, to negotiate with the Russian Kontinental Hockey League. A decision on whether the sides work out a loan agreement or Khabibulin stays with the Hawks will be decided by Wednesday at 3 p.m., when the Hawks have to turn their roster into the NHL.
more on the Blackhaws…
from Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal,
With his father, Bill Wirtz, in the hospital and the 2007-08 hockey season about to begin, a memo from the Blackhawks finance department landed on his desk. The team needed an immediate infusion of $34 million to start the season, the memo said, or it wouldn’t be able to make payroll.
The eight-figure request stunned Wirtz. As president of Wirtz Corp., he oversaw a family-owned business with interests in liquor, wine and beer distribution, insurance, real estate, banking and co-ownership of the United Center. The enterprises generated more than $1.4 billion in annual revenue, and none ever came close to missing a payroll.
read on (paid subscription, so hopefully the link will continue to work)
Nick Kypreos and Daren Millard at the Fan 590 spoke with Chicago Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon this morning.
The GM of the Hawks joins Hockeycentral at Noon to discuss the progress of the Khabibulin situation, whether the team would consider sending him to the AHL, and how soon we could expect another development with the goalie.
Tallon expects the situation will be resolved before the start of his team’s NHL season. Listen to the complete interview.
Update 2:28pm ET: At Sportsnet.ca another interview cited from Fan590 which featured these comments from Jay Grossman, Khabibulin’s agent:
“There are several teams that have expressed interest, with our permission being given by Chicago to talk to those teams. At the same time, Chicago is aware of a number of options they have by virtue of trade, whether it be now or whether it be down the road. We assume that at least as far as the start of the season is concerned that (Khabibulin’s status) would be determined well before then.”
Khabibulin’s agent, Jay Grossman told TSN that his client has playing options with the Russian Continental Hockey League (KHL).
“Nik has several options, both here and over there,” Grossman told TSN.
“However, nothing has been finalized and by no means is anything imminent.”
Grossman admitted that he would like to get a deal worked out quickly so that Khabibulin could get back on the ice.
“Nobody is looking to drag this thing out,” he told TSN.
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin could be headed to Russia after clearing waivers earlier this week.
In order to shed payroll, the Blackhawks are to prepared to loan their high-priced former all-star to a club in the Continental Hockey League (KHL), Sportsnet has learned.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
“We’re weighing our options and we’ll decide in the next couple of days what we do,” Blackhawks GM Dave Tallon said via telephone Tuesday. “We’re under the cap, we’re fine. We don’t have a gun to our head. But we’ll decide in a few days what we’re doing.”
Khabibulin became expendable once the Hawks signed Cristobal Huet on July 1. Youngster Corey Crawford is ready for the NHL, as well.
The problem when trying to make a deal like this at this time of year is that everyone basically thinks they’re fine. The puck hasn’t dropped yet. Once the losses start piling up for a team that was supposed to be better, that’s when the trade talks start to heat up.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The Blackhawks are trying to clear salary cap space by getting rid of Khabibulin and insiders say the player they’re targeting now is Washington Capitals center Michael Nylander, who has three years left on his contract with a salary cap hit of $4.875 million.
Sources say the Blackhawks have already made two serious offers to the Capitals for Nylander and believe he would be a good candidate to replace Robert Lang and play with oft-injured Martin Havlat.
more and some Luke Schenn discussion too.
added 12:32pm, as expected, via TSN,
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin cleared waivers on Tuesday as speculation of a trade continues.
Bob McKenzie of TSN just mentioned on NHL Live that Nikolai Khabibulin is on waivers. Bob said maybe Tallon knows someone will pick him up, or, if not, he comes back on re-entry waivers at half price and maybe gets picked up.
from Cris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
First, veteran goalie Nikolai Khabibulin will not play tonight. He had been scheduled to see his first action of the preseason. Savard’s explantation for the switch was the team wanted to get a good look at free-agent signee Antti Niemi.
With rumors of the Hawks looking to move Khabibulin since the signing of Cristobal Huet, there’s always cause for a pause when a change is made without a definitive explanation. If something is going on, it makes you wonder if it wouldn’t be better to see Khabibulin in the lineup so teams can take a look at him.
more on Chicago…
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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