Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin Placed on Waivers

Michael WagnerSenior Analyst ISeptember 29, 2008

TSN is reporting that the Chicago Blackhawks have placed goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin on waivers, so let the trade speculation begin.

I am all for ridding ourselves of the "'Bulin Wall." His $6.75 million contract has a stranglehold on the Blackhawks' budget, and by trading or waiving him they will be able to bring in more forward depth.

The main speculation has been that the Blackhawks will move Khabibulin to Ottawa for goaltender Martin Gerber. The problem with this trade for the Blackhawks is that they do not need another goalie with Corey Crawford and Antti Neimi waiting in the wings.

Neimi and Crawford have both looked good in the preseason, and the Blackhawks brass has been very high on the both of them coming into this season.

The best option for the Blackhawks might be to try and restart talks between Ottawa and Los Angeles, because the three teams can solve each other’s problems. The Blackhawks need a depth forward or second-line center (Patrick O'Sullivan or Chris Neil), the Los Angeles Kings need to get to salary floor and a goaltender (Martin Gerber), and the Ottawa Senators need a change in goal with their lost confidence in Gerber and need of a netminder with proven playoff experience (Nikolai Khabibulin).

I'm not sure how this whole situation will play out with the season just two weeks away, but the Blackhawks seem determined to get some more space between them and the salary cap.

Well, hockey season is back, thank God!