Friday, August 05, 2005

Khabibulin Going to Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks have signed free agent goalie Nikolai Khabibulin to a four year contract worth $6.75 million a year. Whoa. That's a lot of money but management has really given the team life this offseason. Their other additions have been Spacek, Lapointe and Aucoin. Now, I think the Hawks have been overpaying, but so have a lot of teams. And Khabibulin is an excellent goaltender who put up a 2.33GAA and .910 SV% in 2003-2004. This looks like the end of the line for Jocelyn Thibault in Chicago.

Jes Golbez thinks this is an awful signing for Chicago.

And this is a crushing blow to Tampa. John at Boltsmag/RawLightning said that Tampa was going to have to lose St. Louis, Vinny or Khabibulin. But in the new offense-first NHL, you need a great goalie to keep you in games. John Grahame is not bad, but he is no Khabibulin. To be fair to the Lightning, they would have been in awful cap position if they matched this offer. They just couldn't give him that kind of money. They had no choice but to let him go and even though they had no choice, it still hurts.