The Oilers Have Their #1

Nikolai Khabibulin has come to terms with the Edmonton Oilers. The specifics will pay the veteran netminder in the neighbourhood of $3.75 million over 4 years.

A serious pay cut over his previous salary, Khabibulin creates a workable environment to help move along younger netminder Jeff Deslauriers, which was an important factor for the Oilers moving forward, but also secures the Oilers need for a #1 netminder with the departure of Dwayne Roloson.

At 36 years old, this puts him at a slightly younger age at the end of his contract than Roloson would be and perhaps creates somewhat of an concern that should he retire the Oilers are responsible for his cap hit and contract; but he brings a lot more as a starter with a proven track record and a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay which was important to Edmonton.

With the goaltending situation taken care of now, the focus likely shifts back to Dany Heatley, with a little buzz going that the Oilers are a leading contender to land Chris Neil from Ottowa.


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