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Agent: Goaltender Khabibulin has options in KHL

TSN.ca Staff

10/2/2008 7:39:11 PM

Just days after being waived by the Chicago Blackhawks, the possibility exists that goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin may be heading back to Russia.

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.

Khabibulin, who captured the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004, cleared waivers on Tuesday.  He is in the final year of four-year, $27 million contract.

The 35-year old netminder became expendable in the Windy City in the off-season when the Blackhawks signed free-agent Christobal Huet to a four-year, $22.5 million deal with the team.

Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon says he still intends on trying to find a spot for Khabibulin either in Chicago or somewhere else.

"Yes, I'm still trying to find a fit in the NHL," Tallon told TSN. "If I can't, he'll play for us."

Tallon told TSN that he is not aware of any urgency to either find Khabibulin a home in North America or allow him to jump to the KHL. 

The Hawks however would like to find a way to rid their payroll of Khabibulin $6.75 million salary.  The team remains in the market for a second line centre after trading Robert Lang to the Montreal Canadiens last month.