Blackhawks Sign Nikolai Khabibulin


Late Friday evening, the Chicago Blackhawks agreed to a one-year deal with goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin. According to Khabibulin’s agent, Jay Grossman, the deal has a $2M cap hit.

Khabibulin was with the Hawks from 2005-2009, playing in 202 games. He won 90 games over those four seasons, including 25 in the 2008-09 season that saw the Hawks return to the postseason. In those playoffs, Khabibulin was 8-6 with a .898 save percentage.

34 thoughts on “Blackhawks Sign Nikolai Khabibulin

  • July 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    They wasted 2m on bringing back Khabibulin, geez. I don’t get this one at all.

  • July 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    JS- so tell me that you prefer the Bulin Wall over ( fill in the blank)????

  • July 5, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    if this deal is really for 2 million… i have lost faith in management, even a couple hundred k can be the difference to be able to fit a rental under the cap at the deadline

  • July 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    play well in camp and make the team rannta, 2 mil is too much for a back up

  • July 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    What about Tim Thomas ? Isn’t this more money than Emery will get in Philly? This makes no.sense.

  • July 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    So he’s getting more than Emery got from Philly?! I can’t imagine he’ll be as successful as Ray was last year. Puzzling.

  • July 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    This deal has everything to do with the Handzus/Rozy signings…its about winning another Cup next year and leaving nothing to chance. Remember, its a short off season for the Hawks, so everyone is going to need to be kept fresh over an 82 game schedule…the players we now have can give everyone time to reenergize over the course of the season.

    Why Habby for $.4 million more than Emery??? Because Emery wants one more chance to become a #1 goalie in the league…that’s not going to happen in Chicago…Habby gives Raanta a chance to shine in Rockford and maybe come up later in the season…

    The Hawks sense dynasty and are going for it…

  • July 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    WTF..this I don’t see at all. $2m for this guy? Where could that money have been spent that would have been wiser: I think we can all come up with something. I hate to question SB after this years results but this is dumbfounding to me.

  • July 5, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    What about 16?

  • July 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Brad gets it.

    Yes wall, I would rather have Nik than some unknown.

    Emery wanted to be a #1 and he gets that chance. Hawks NEEDED a veteran back up and if you can actually look at the Hawks goalie depth chart and not realize that…. don’t know what to tell you.

  • July 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    So were the alleged negotiations with emery just BS? If not, how could they let him sign elsewhere for 1.65M and then sign Bulin for 2M? Emery must have decided he wanted a chance to compete for a starting job. Either that or the front office underestimated the cost of backup goaltending.

  • July 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    When do we plan to finally sign Kruger also?

  • July 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    This doesn’t really make very much sense.

  • July 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Also, we probably don’t have to worry about getting Kruger re-signed. He’s an RFA, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

  • July 6, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Ray clearly saw them going in a different direction and wanted a chance to be able to steal a starting job…that’s what brought him to Chicago and that’s why he’s leaving.

    Although, his comments about CC puzzle me. If he recognizes that CC will make bank, shouldn’t he also recognize that it won’t be with the Hawks, leaving starting G open for the taking in 2014? I know the Hawks can’t tell him that, but the track record is there. Maybe he just couldn’t wait a year and going back to Philly was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Or maybe the Hawks are banking on winning the cup next year and getting CC to sign a sweet deal as he stumbles off the rally stage/the cap jumping so high they can’t find any better use of their $.

  • July 6, 2013 at 1:17 am

    Like the Bulin signing. Each of the last 2 years he has both a better Sv% and even strength Sv% than Emery, and he’s playing behind Edmonton, while Razor was playing behind the hawks

  • July 6, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Unless Rozsival and Kruger sign for $1M each (which isn’t the case), someone will be leaving the current roster. Dollars don’t work otherwise. Brookbank for a late draft pick perhaps?

  • July 6, 2013 at 6:44 am

    I would think that Brookbank and Carcillo will be traded. But the way SB responded to the D question Friday sounded like he’s bringing back the same guys. Could be a smoke screen so who knows. Might be a few days before a Brookbank deal gets done as teams try and see if they can sign someone from the FA pool.

  • July 6, 2013 at 7:34 am

    We dont have to have a 23 man roster. We can have a 22 or 21…

  • July 6, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Thomas wanted $3 million per year for 1 or 2 only. I doubt he would have taken a backup position though.

  • July 6, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Hawks can win another Cup and Bulin is a proven veteran netminder who fits like a glove. It’s time to challenge for another Cup. Not kowtow to Raanta. Let him get used to smaller ice in Rockford. His day will come soon enough if he performs.

  • July 6, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Emery knew he would never get real shot at Starter… it wasn’t the money…
    At almost Every open practice I went to… Emery let in almost twice as many goals as Crow…

    Ozzie- Ray knew the Hawks were trying to keep Him cheap… if Crow leaves for the money… Ray, would only get slight pay raise going from 20-30 game backup to Alleged starter…

    Brad- Hawks will be competitive – but SC champs again??? Very optimistic- not saying it can’t happen… but a lot of speed has left… and the biggest ???- how will Hossa’s Back play out??? The Hawks Should contend for the Cup in the near future (assuming the “core” stays in tact/ and no big injuries)… but Hoss/back could change that pretty quick! They do have some nice prospects (unproven/NHL’ers) coming up – that’s the good news… but Only prospects for now!

  • July 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Emery was an RFA, right? Does that mean we get something for him signing in Philly?


  • July 6, 2013 at 11:14 am

    With the loss of our head goalie coach, I think it was a great move to bring in a veteran Handzus type player in the goalie position for Crawford and Raanta to pick at, and allow Raanta to adjust to a whole new style of hockey instead of throwing him into the mix right away and guessing whats going to happen. They know what Khabibulin brings to the table and as a backup thats all the Hawks need.

  • July 6, 2013 at 11:23 am

    There is no room for either Carcillo or Brookbank…Kruger will be signed shortly…the roster that Bowman has put together is a fascinating combination of winners, youth and just enough age/saavy to groom the kids…we will have push and energy from the likes of Shaw, Smith and Morin…toughness/grit from Bickell, Shaw, Seabrook, Stanton, Hayes and supreme talent from Hossa, Toews, Kane, Sharp, Keith…its a deep, deep roster that will allow Q to rest players throughout the season and keep everyone fresh heading into the playoffs…with CC/Habby/Raanta we have world class goaltending, more than good enough to win another championship…because that is what is taking shape/place in front of our eyes…all these moves scream another championship and the word dynasty…

  • July 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    The Hawks have lost two fourth line players, a back up goalie, and a winger that kept getting benched in the playoffs. You honestly think that is too much for them to repeat?

    Dave Bolland was lambasted all season long because of how bad he is. Just because he played respectable in the Final doesn’t mean he’s some irreplaceable piece to the championship puzzle.

    These were FOURTH LINE pieces that were replaced. I would hope the Hawks have a good enough system to bring up 3 guys to replace those that have departed.

    And guys, the Hawks can’t trade Carcillo! They need his grit! Grit wins Stanley Cups! (I hope he is gone tomorrow)

  • July 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I think the biggest issue the Hawks will have is the amount of Olympic players they are going to have. This is a short off season followed by a long season. It might be difficult for them to keep it up throughout the year/stay healthy. But which team has gotten better this off season?

    Pittsburgh still can’t play defense. I’d say Boston took a slight regression. Kings? Are they suddenly good enough? Anaheim? VancLOL I couldn’t even finish that one.

    There is a reason the Hawks are #2 on Odds to win the Cup again next year.

  • July 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    JS…other than the Kings, the rest of the teams just played musical chairs, and many teams, like ANA and BOS took major hits and won’t be near the same teams…

    This is often what FA does to teams, it makes them worse…and saddles them for years unable to make wholesale changes…Bowman has structured the Hawks completely differently…this is why we just got a lot better after the last 48 hours…because a lot of other teams got a lot worse…and what’s better, the Rockford “shopping” only gets better as each year passes…

  • July 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Duck,Ottawa, Jets, Oilers, Avs, Preds, Leafs- I think got better… Ducks save money and got two very good players for Ryan…
    Good news is they weren’t 1st tier teams to begin with (except Ducks-who still need some more speed/youth on the D side)…

    That 4th line was a dependable luxury line (easily best or 2nd best in NHL)- Would easily be a 3rd line In most Cities… So please don’t downplay “FOURTH LINE”
    And I do like the prospects in the pipeline- BUT there is a learning curve- so only time will tell – how well these Prospects play -AND HOW LONG it takes them to Adjust to NHL.

  • July 6, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    You think the Leafs got better? I think Nonis made some really silly moves and overpaid quite a bit for Clarkson and Bernier. Four of the teams you mentioned didn’t make the playoffs.

    I’m not saying the fourth line wasn’t good, but it’s still the line that eats the least amount of even strength minutes and I think the most important member of that line is still there. I think Frolik was very important to the Hawks success, but I also don’t think he will be that hard to replace.

    I know the lineup won’t look like this, but you think this is a significant downgrade from last season?

    29-19-88 (I don’t expect this to be the first line)

  • July 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Yeah, I’m convinced the 4 lines we skate this year will be the best in Hawks history…with better healthy scratches than we have ever seen. It may take a little while for the magic to click but I doubt it…this is going to be best Hawks team to date…I really believe that.

  • July 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Brad- JS… I do think all of the prospects have better hands/shots than 67, 25… but none of them skate as well or are as fast!!! 67 did not make a lot of mistakes- very dependable…

    Yes- Morin could end up being a 20 goal guy- no question… Pirri too…
    Smith- very smart- hard nosed, pit-bull type-

    But once again- 67, 16, 25 (in playoffs) weren’t asked to score… they were asked to forecheck, be responsible, pressure w speed… these new Hawks are more scorers than
    forechecking, pressuring types (Hawks already have “the scorers”) … time will tell if the “newbies” can adjust to roll playing hockey- or perhaps THEY are that good that they will just go out and outscore the other teams 1st lines???

    IMO- they will not be as dependable as 16-67-36 line vs. a 1st line- OR at the very best it may take some time to adjust to the NHL/IQ part of the game…

    now going forward – Danault, Nordstrom, Hartwell, Hino,etc. … they can skate/play rolls, etc.

  • July 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I’m not sure what would take a little while for the magic to click if the top 3 lines are intact from the Cup and Quenneville could, in theory, skate a fourth line of guys that were together in Rockford last year (Morin-Kruger/Pirri-Hayes). This team is back with only two exceptions, and the biggest hole they’ll need to fill is Frolik’s spot on PK; Handzus could be a key contributor to that unit next year, and Smith plays a responsible game and could step in there as well.

  • July 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Wall, I hear what you are saying and I agree…the Kruger, Frolik, Bolland 4th line vs. boston was an amazing luxury, but with the Cap going down, there is no way to either afford it or justify it…Bolly at $3.3 million has to produce more points and play at least the best 3rd line centre role in the league…and he wasn’t that all year…and Fro was a great 4th line player and PK player, but at $2.3 million and what 4 goals, it just doesn’t warrant it…

    As Tab said Kruger skated with combinations of Smith, Morin and Hayes to start the year at Rockford this past season and it won’t take long for their magic to click…and that 4th line could very well be responsible for a lot of goals this season.

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