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Nikolai Khabibulin: Misc

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Ice Hockey

Up to date as of February 02, 2010

An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

Position Goaltender
Catches Left
Height
Weight
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
208 lb (95 kg)
NHL Team
F. Teams
Edmonton Oilers
Chicago Blackhawks
Tampa Bay Lightning
Phoenix Coyotes
Winnipeg Jets
Nationality Flag of Russia Russian
Born January 13 1973 (1973-01-13) (age 37),
Sverdlovsk, Russian SFSR, USSR
NHL Draft 204th overall, 1992
Winnipeg Jets
Pro Career 1994 – present

Nikolai Ivanovich Khabibulin (born January 13, 1973) is a Russian professional ice hockey goaltender, who is currently signed with the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League. He most recently played for the Chicago Blackhawks. His abilities have been recognized with four appearances in the NHL All-Star Game and two Olympic medals. He became the first Russian goalie ever to win the Stanley Cup in 2004. He won the title with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and had previously played for the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes. He is often known by his nickname "The Bulin Wall". Other nicknames include "The Nyet Minder" and "The First Tsar".

Contents

Playing career

Winnepeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes

He was selected in the ninth round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets. In the 1993–94 season Nikolai played with the touring Russian Penguins and by the start of the NHL season in 1994 was playing in the NHL. In 1996, he moved with the Jets to Phoenix, Arizona, where they became the Coyotes. In his three seasons in Phoenix, he played in seventy games twice and in sixty games the third season, a heavy workload for a goaltender. Although the Coyotes made the playoffs each of these years, some claimed that this heavy workload led Khabibulin to be fatigued for the playoffs, contributing to the team's failure to make it to the second round of the playoffs.

After the 1998–99 season, Nikolai became embroiled in a bitter contract dispute with the Coyotes, and ended up holding out for an entire season. During this year, he played for the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the International Hockey League (IHL), earning the league's MVP trophy.

Tampa Bay Lightning

On March 5, 2001, Khabibulin was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Mike Johnson, Paul Mara, Ruslan Zainullin and NY Islanders' 2nd round choice (previously acquired, Phoenix selected Matthew Spiller). He quickly signed a contract with Tampa Bay and by the next season, he re-emerged as a premier goaltender. Joined by superstars Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards, Khabibulin helped lead the Lightning back to the playoffs in 2003 (their first appearance since 1996) and then to a Stanley Cup Championship in 2004 – the first championship in franchise history. Khabibulin recorded 5 shutouts in 23 playoff games, including 3 shutouts in the first-round match-up against the New York Islanders (tied for an NHL record for most shutouts in a playoff round). Unlike his time in Phoenix, Khabibulin could enjoy extended rest when needed due to the skill of his backup, John Grahame.

During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Khabibulin was one of many Russian players to return to their homeland. From November 2004, he played for Ak Bars Kazan.

Chicago Blackhawks

As the NHLPA ratified a new CBA, Khabibulin became a free agent when play was set to resume. Coming off his Stanley Cup win the previous NHL season, the Chicago Blackhawks signed him to a four-year, $27 million deal, making him the highest paid goalie in the league. But injuries and inconsistent play have plagued him during his tenure in Chicago. In his first season with the Blackhawks, he recorded a 3.35 goals-against-average – the highest of his career since his rookie season in Winnipeg – and Chicago finished second last in the Western Conference.

In July 2008, the Blackhawks signed goaltender Cristobal Huet, previously of the Washington Capitals. The signing of Huet was thought to have effectively displaced Khabibulin as the starting goalie, especially given he was put on waivers on September 29, 2008, but cleared. In light of Huet and Khabibulin's combined salaries (Huet was signed to a contract averaging $5.6 million per season),it was speculated Khabibulin would be traded to provide cap space. However, he spent the entire season with the team, playing in 42 games, and by the start of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs had retrenched himself as the starting goaltender. Khabibulin and the Blackhawks defeated the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks to progress to the Western Conference Finals against the Detroit Red Wings. During the third game of the series, Khabibulin surrendered three goals in one period, after shutting out the Red Wings in the previous period. He was replaced by Cristobal Huet for the third period due to a lower body injury.

Edmonton Oilers

On July 1, 2009, he signed a 4 year deal worth $15 million with the Edmonton Oilers, replacing Dwayne Roloson as the Oilers starting goaltender.

Career statistics

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Regular season

Season Team League GP W L T/OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1991–92 HC CSKA Moscow CIS 2 -- -- -- 34 2 0 3.53 --
1992–93 HC CSKA Moscow CIS 13 -- -- -- 491 27 -- 3.30 --
1993–94 HC CSKA Moscow CIS 46 -- -- -- 2625 116 3 2.65 --
1993–94 Russian Penguins IHL 12 2 7 2 639 47 0 4.41 .873
1994–95 Springfield Falcons AHL 23 9 9 3 1241 80 0 3.87 .874
1994–95 Winnipeg Jets NHL 26 8 9 4 1339 76 0 3.40 .895
1995–96 Winnipeg Jets NHL 53 26 20 3 2914 152 2 3.13 .908
1996–97 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 72 30 33 6 4091 193 7 2.83 .908
1997–98 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 70 30 28 10 4026 184 4 2.74 .900
1998–99 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 63 32 23 7 3657 130 8 2.13 .920
1999–00 Long Beach Ice Dogs IHL 33 21 11 1 1936 59 5 1.83 .930
2000–01 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 2 1 1 0 123 6 0 2.93 .913
2001–02 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 70 24 32 10 3896 153 7 2.36 .920
2002–03 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 65 30 22 11 3787 156 4 2.47 .911
2003–04 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 55 28 19 7 3274 127 3 2.33 .910
2004–05 Ak Bars Kazan RSL 24 16 5 3 1457 40 5 1.65 --
2005–06 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 50 17 26 6 2815 157 0 3.35 .886
2006–07 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 60 25 26 5 3425 163 1 2.86 .902
2007–08 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 50 23 20 6 2891 127 2 2.63 .909
2008–09 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 42 25 8 7 2467 96 3 2.33 .919
NHL Totals 678 299 267 85 38705 1720 41 2.67 .908

*Beginning in the 2005–06 NHL season, regular season games could no longer end in a tie.

Playoffs

Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1993–94 HC CSKA Moscow CIS 3 -- -- 193 11 -- 3.41 --
1995–96 Winnipeg Jets NHL 6 2 4 359 19 0 3.17 .911
1996–97 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 7 3 4 426 15 1 2.11 .932
1997–98 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 4 2 1 185 13 0 4.21 .877
1998–99 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 7 3 4 449 18 0 2.40 .924
1999–00 Long Beach Ice Dogs IHL 5 2 3 321 15 0 2.80 --
2002–03 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 10 5 5 644 26 0 2.42 .913
2003–04 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 23 16 7 1401 40 5 1.71 .933
2004–05 Ak Bars Kazan RSL 2 0 2 118 6 0 3.05 --
2008–09 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 15 8 6 881 43 0 2.93 .898
NHL Totals 72 39 31 4345 174 6 2.40 .917

International play

Khabibulin at the 2002 Winter Olympics.


Khabibulin made his international debut with the Soviet Union at the 1991 European Junior Championships. He appeared in the 1992 World Junior Championships the next year and won a gold medal with the CIS, appearing in six games. Khabibulin and the national team had begun the tournament as the Soviet Union, but the state was dissolved following the round robin on New Year's Day, thus they proceeded to compete as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

That same year, Khabibulin appeared in the 1992 Winter Olympics with the CIS as the third goaltender. Controversy arose after the CIS captured the gold medal when legendary Russian coach Viktor Tikhonov kept a medal for himself (coaches and management are not awarded medals in Olympic hockey) instead of allowing Khabibulin to have one, as Khabibulin had not played a game in the tournament. This is speculated to be the reason for Khabibulin boycotting the Russian team in later international tournaments. Ten years later, at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Khabibulin was finally awarded his 1992 Olympic gold medal in a private locker room ceremony with teammates and the Russian Hockey Federation.

After his second season with the Winnipeg Jets of the NHL, Khabibulin competed with Russia in the 1996 World Cup. He appeared in 2 games.

At the 2002 Winter Olympics, in which the 1992 gold medal conflict was resolved, Khabibulin established himself as the national team's starting goaltender. He helped Russia to a bronze medal while appearing in 6 games. He appeared again in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, but had previously been overtaken as Russia's starting goalie by the San Jose Sharks' Evgeni Nabokov. Khabibulin did not play a game in either tournament as Russia failed to medal.

External links

  • Nikolai Khabibulin at TSN.ca
  • Nikolai Khabibulin's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Nikolai Khabibulin. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

This article uses material from the "Nikolai Khabibulin" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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