Chicago Blackhawks' Nikolai Khabibulin Clears Waivers, Trade Rumors Persist

Steve JankowskiAnalyst ISeptember 30, 2008

Nikolai Khabibulin cleared waivers Tuesday, as no NHL club opted to pick up his $6.75 million salary for this season.  It wasn't a big surprise, given that hefty salary and his mediocre play since arriving in Chicago.

That leaves Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon stuck with two highly-paid, top-notch goalies, and one crease for them to play in.  Tallon will likely try to trade Khabibulin to clear the way for Cristobal Huet.

The most likely trade destination is Los Angeles, who needs a goalie and has tons of cap space to spare.  

The Kings could also pick him up if Chicago puts him on re-entry waivers.  In that scenario, any team that picks him up would only be on the hook for only half of Khabibulin's salary.

Chicago would rather trade him and rid themselves of his entire salary to free up more cap space and add another forward to the mix.