The agent for goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin is hopeful his client’s next stop will be decided before the Chicago Blackhawks open their regular season next week.
Jay Grossman told Hockeycentral@Noon co-hosts Daren Millard and Nick Kypreos that the Blackhawks have given him permission to speak with other NHL teams about the 35-year-old goaltender, who cleared league waivers earlier this week.
"There are several teams that have expressed interest, with our permission being given by Chicago to talk to those teams," Grossman said. "At the same time, Chicago is aware of a number of options they have by virtue of trade, whether it be now or whether it be down the road.
"We assume that at least as far as the start of the season is concerned that (Khabibulin’s status) would be determined well before then."
Chicago GM Dale Tallon concurred.
"(Something is) going to happen before the season starts," Tallon told HC@Noon. "We’re not going to let it linger."
One option available for Khabibulin is to play in Russia.
Khabibulin is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $6.7 million this season. He was 23-20-6 with a 2.63 goals against average in 2007-08, but was was deemed expendable by Chicago when the team signed free-agent goaltender Cristobal Huet to a four-year, $22.5 million deal this summer