Rocks Report: Khabibulin Signs!

tsn.ca The most coveted goaltender in the free agent market has finally found a home, as veteran netminder Nikolai Khabibulin has signed with the Chicago Blackhawks.

It is a four-year deal worth $27 million US.

Khabibulin, 32, helped lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to their first Stanley Cup title in 2004, posting five postseason shutouts and a 1.71 goals-against average.

The native of Russia posted a 28-19-7 regualr season record in 2003-2004 with three shutouts and a 2.33 goals-against average.

Since being acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes on March 5, 2001, Khabibulin has amassed a 83-74-28 record while leading the team to consecutive Southeast Division titles. He holds franchise records in wins, shutouts (14) and consecutive wins (eight).



38 Responses to Rocks Report: Khabibulin Signs!

  1. crozky says:

    Another good move by the Hawks, Thibeault was never great as a starter. Finally maybe the Hawks will start to garner a little bit of respect now with this signing!

  2. -Swizz- says:

    good signing….hawks will definetly be better next year…better d..better goaltending..improved pp…younger players more mature..

    im a thibault fan..i think he’s a very good goalie

    and im not sure, but i was under the impression that thibaults contract isnt too big either…

    i can only dream the leafs would go after thibault and find a way to dump belfour…*sigh*

  3. mikster says:

    The most overpaid player in the league. So, who wants Thibault?

  4. Desertdog17 says:

    The Hawks are gonna be a threat this year, now was does Thibault go?

  5. Desertdog17 says:

    I want Thibault man, Maybe he would be right for the Coyotes?

  6. Tweek says:

    thibault never a great starter? are you on crack, this guy made this team better when they truely blew, he was injured last season and thats why u didnt hear about him, just wait until he gets traded and then people will realize what a stupid move by chicago this was, idiots, why not spend the money somewhere else?

  7. Tweek says:

    thibault= the most underated goalie in the league, what a stupid move by the hawks, this money could have gone to two good players but they went out and overpaid for a goalie who is good but is inconsistent

  8. mikita says:

    Finally the Hawks are making a move toward respectability…….Aucoin, LaPointe, now Khabibulin. Word around Chi-town is they have an offer on the table for Kariya as well. New GM Dale Tallon is really shaking things up after a decade of misery.

  9. -Swizz- says:

    i agree with what ur sayin bout t-bo

    i think he is one of the most underrated goalies in the league..he put up decent numbers on a shitty chicago team

  10. habfan1160 says:

    I really don’t understand this deal. I think the Hawks overpaid for his services.

    Now that Thibault is going to be traded, I think the Vancouver Canucks should go after him. Personally, I think he would be an upgrade over Cloutier who has shown that he just cannot do it in the playoffs. If healthy, he will be able to assist any team in achieving their goals.

  11. mikita says:

    I’ve watched Thibault his entire career in Chicago. The guy played like an all-star at times but he’s not the answer for the Hawks. He’s always been injury prone and his stamina was always an issue. He simply wears down as the season progresses. He might do well on a team with a proven backup like Detroit where he won’t have to carry the load every night.

  12. TMLfan2005 says:

    Good news for the hawks! Bad news for the lightning! I wonder who they will get?

  13. Tweek says:

    anybody’s stamina is a issue when u play 70 games a year facing 30 shots a game on a shitty team

  14. koho says:

    That puts the three way deal to rest.

    This post is just out of frustration. I am not, I repeat not a crazy leaf fan and I understand that JFJ inherited a bad, high salary team but;

    What if;

    – The leafs trade kaberle to chicago for Thibault and then trade Belfour to Tampa for a conditional draft pick. That would free up some considerable space for the leafs to sign someone, anyone. This off season is making me ill.

    What will happen;

    – Tampa will trade for Thibault or sign Josheph (if he is not a Penguin already).

    At least the “have nots” are getting better.

    BTW, did anyone see Domi tearing the media a new one in the press conference and watching JFJ squirm beside him. This Team is a joke.

  15. mikster says:

    Absolutely, i’d go for it.

  16. Tweek says:

    Domi was stupid for ripping the media but the media is stupid for ripping the team, its a non stop hatefest in Toronto, and here is the problem…..

    – the leafs media gets mad at players for getting mad at the media and then the media goes off and says “well if the players cant handle the media then they shouldt sign the contract” and this statament is true and false, players have every right for opinion, i mean the media give it all the time but when a player does it its seen as stupid and classless. meanwhile the toronto media is some reason forplayers not signing here yet they get mad at ferguson for sitting onn his hands and not making any deals? in conclusion, I HATE MOST TORONTO MEDIA and yes I also realize these guys are out to sell papers and play to the public but they should really stop being hypicritical, domi was right, the media is stupid but he himself should realize that it will always be like this

  17. NYRebuild27 says:

    all i can think is how this will start to resuscitate the lecavalier to montreal and theodore to tampa rumors! should prove for some interesting moves on feaster and gaineys parts.

  18. AltersEgo says:

    Agreed….Toronto is a joke and will always be a joke until they rid of JFJ as GM. This guy’s inexperience drives me and I’m sure other leaf fans crazy. he had the chance to buy out high profile players such as Mats and Eddie. He decided not to buy out Nolan because of an injury that he feels is “Non Hockey Related”. I have news for you John, the NHLPA has never lost an arbitration hearing of this type, and I don’t think they will lose this one. Another bonehead move on JFJ’s part is the aquisition of Leetch. Why give up so much for a player that played 25 games or less?

    If the Leafs are considering rebuilding, why wouldn’t they buyout/trade Mats and Belfour to bring in some decent young talent that will be good in the future?

    As for the aquisition by Chicago, good for them. I guess this kind of confirms that an earlier post about a 3 way trade with chicago, boston, and TO was nothing but utter BS. Whoever makes posts like that are just making Leaf fans look really bad.

  19. nordiques100 says:

    Suddenly Belfour may have some trade value.

    tampa needs a top goalie to compete against the sens and flyers and may go after belfour. he would cost less than what they would have paid khabibulin and grahame is young enough to still be good after belfour is gone.

    the bolts could go after cujo but then…..

    the wings need someone too. legace is not a number 1 goalie. they too may have interest in belfour. but only after they sign datsyuk and zetterberg and see what kind of money they have left.

    the nucks need a goalie too. but they need to re-sign ohlund first and see what kind of money they have left. they are pushing the envelope.

    pheonix has room under the cap, young goalies on the way. they could use a guy like belfour. he could really make things interesting for them in the west. and they have boucher in case eddie goes down.

    cap wise, if you have the room, the belfour is the way to go because he would come at the cheapest price trade wise. thibault is going to cost your team a player on the roster. belfour could be had for picks or prospects.

  20. CechmanekForVezina says:

    I think the Blackhawks have really improved the most so far. From perennial playoff missing team to a Division contender, or at least a strong chance at making the playoffs. Very interesting.

  21. werdo says:

    Tough to do business in the same division, but, detroit needs a goalie and they have some cap headaches with datsyuk and zetterberg. I could see one of these two involved in some sort of trade with chicago.

  22. nordiques100 says:

    columbus has improved but they wont win the division without a centre

    the wings are a good team still but wont will alot with legace in goal

    the blues have 2 good overpaid players and that is it. they look to be rebuilding

    the preds are a good young team but still a couple of years away

    that leaves the hawks. and they do have the best goaltending in the division.

  23. kicksave856 says:

    I would also go for T-bo if I were the Coyotes. That sounds like a good fit.

  24. kicksave856 says:

    You know, I agreed with an earlier post that the Coyotes should go after T-bo, but I also agree that the Canucks should go after him. Now that I think about it, there are a bunch of teams that would be smart to look into T-bo.

  25. kicksave856 says:

    Um, T-bo?

  26. nelsog says:

    Thoedore isn’t going anywhere. The Bolts still have Grahame right? The deal is for Koivu, Price and a pick. But it does make it more interesting. This deal may actually happen!!!

  27. mikita says:

    Well it looks like he’s going to have to prove his worth somewhere else. It’ll be interesting to see how he does if he goes to a team with solid D in front of him. I think the team saw an opportunity to upgrade and they went for it.

  28. mikita says:

    The Hawks still need a proven goal scorer for the top line. If they can’t get one from the remaining free agent pool, the acquisition of Khabibulin will allow them to package Thibault in a trade to get one.

  29. habsoverserver says:

    The Hawks overpaid for great players. That is a solid improvement over underpaying for mediocre players. This is what teams need to do to fill the stands.

    This was the worst defense in the NHL last year. They probably just got a goal a game better, which is worth about 10-15 wins. Gets them to .500 but not the playoffs.

  30. NYRebuild27 says:

    but could grahame shoulder the burden of carrying the defending stanley cup champs? i must admit he is a good goaltender, and your analysis makes tons of sense, but lets say i wouldnt be shocked if theodore opened the season wearing black, white and blue.

  31. Resmo112 says:

    The wings will sign nogood for like 1 mil.

  32. nelsog says:

    I’d be shocked and very sad, but crazier things have happened. Don’t forget that Grahame carried that team to 1st place when Bulin couldn’t seem to find the puck. But there is not much playoff experience there. I think they’d like to get a young goalie with alot of potential in their system.

    Let’s make a deal!!!

  33. nelsog says:

    Another crazy idea is that they do trade Theodore for Vinny then bring Thibault back to Montreal. Just an idea, i don’t really like it, but it could happen. Thibault is a very underrated goalie but past injuries will probably make teams think twice about picking him up unless they have a solid backup tender.

  34. Kamakaze says:

    So far, I think if Columbus keeps their team as they are, or at least doesn’t trade away anyone significant (Denis for example), then they will push for a low playoff spot, and probably finish 2nd or 3rd in the Devision.

    Detroit is still a vet good team, with a lot of skill and grit on the forward lines, and (assuming they sign Dats and Zet) they can roll 3 good lines easily. They are also strong on Defense with smart veterans, guys who can move the puck and guys play hard. I’d say barring any injury, one of the more solid groups in the league. They should go after a solid backup or former starter. Someone like Dafoe or Tugnutt, or perhaps go after Thibault. Any of those in combination with Legacy would form a nice 1-2 punch in goal and coupled with their steady defense should still win the Devision.

    St. Louis won’t make the playoffs. They aren’t very good on forward, and for the last few years seemed to lack any direction. They don’t have any real good scorers aside from Thackuk and Weight, and those are questionable. They have some tougher guys, but they aren’t the kind that score at all, and their young guys seem to be second rate, 3rd liners or fillers at best. Their defense, aside from Brewer and Jackman is questionable, Backman might turn out well and might compete for a spot, Salvador seems alright, and Weinrich, Murray and Khavanov will probably eat up the rest of the time. I don’t really thing McInnis will be back, and if he is back, he will probably play just a couple shifts and man the PP. LaLime will keep them in games, but I don’t think their offense is strong enough to help them out. They will be in the basement for sure.

    Nashville is a great up and coming team with what seems live a very solid defined team, tough two way forwards, a mix of size and skill on defense, and good goaltending by Vokoun. I think they way they built the team is great, they drafted and signed the right players, but they only problem I can see is that they have mainly supporting guys. I don’t see anyone on this roster that can really control or command a game (not yet anyway). That will (hopefully) come with time and drafting, and the occasional free agent. They are on the rise, and players will see that, and it will eventually be easier for them to draw then in. They have a 2 very good puck movers on D, and with Markov they have three good players. I think they would do well to sign a top defensman to clear the front of the net, Hamrlik, Woolley or Quintal would all be good additions to their group. I expect them to challenge for a playoff spot and perhaps 3rd in the Devision. They probably won’t make the playoffs, but will give one hell of a fight, and make it very hard on higher ranked teams trying to move up.

    Chicago did well to bring in some decent talent, but they won’t do as well as everyone thinks. They have a good goalie, but a pretty poor defense. Aucoin, Cullimore, Spacek, and McCarthy aren’t exactly my ideal top 4. Bringing in a solid defenseman will help, and they sport a pretty tough group of forwards with guys like Bell, Brown, Barnaby, Dowd and Lapoint, but they are too young, and definitely not good enough on Defense to really win. They will win some games, and re-ignite some passion for hockey in Chicago, but they probably won’t make the playoffs, but will come close.

  35. Veggetto19 says:

    This proves that he has no intention of trying to win a stanley cup. He’s just another greedy pieace of Sh#t. 27 million the best player in the nhl doesent make that they screwed up.

  36. Veggetto19 says:

    They have a good goalie who they figure is proabaly ready to carry the load his name is john grhame and thier ahl goalie is half bad he could proabaly skip to being a backup.

  37. CechmanekForVezina says:

    I think the Predators and the Wings have the best chance at winning the division. Legace is very solid, and looks like he’s been ready to start for years.

  38. kicksave856 says:

    i like grahame, but i always wonder if he can be as effective as a starter. maybe that is the route they will go, but if i were them i’d get a goalie.

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