Monday, July 5, 2010

GETTING IT DONE: Khabby's doctor hands out bad news, Tambo gets a B

It appears signing Nikolai Khabibulin last year was as dumb as my two-week hiatus from blogging recently.

Tyler Dellow, a blogger for, apparently scrounged up an interesting find while digging through documents after documents filed in the goaltender’s DUI case.

That find: a letter dated back on May 24 from his doctor who says Khabibulin is still under “activity restrictions” after a January surgery to repair a lumbar disc herniation and a weak right leg.

“We hope for a full recovery, but that has not occurred at this time,” wrote Dr. Robert Watkins in the letter.

“He is making progress and we will reevaluate his condition in June 2010.”

So in other words, that’s 12 weeks.  That’s more than half the time longer than expected for his recovery.

Meanwhile, Khabibulin’s cap hit is $3.75 million every year until the end of the 2013-2014 season, according to

If the Oilers want to hold on to Devan Dubnyk and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers one more season, it might not be a bad idea. Both are restricted free agents.


Steve Tambellini has accomplished a lot since drafting Taylor Hall, an 18-year-old who was ranked No. 2 by NHL Central Scouting.

I’m already over the decision because Hall is fast and he can put some excitement back into Oilers hockey.

But without getting too off topic, Tambellini has done a good job with free agency, but I wouldn’t call it stellar.

The Oilers are done with Ethan Moreau, Patrick O’Sullivan, Robert Nilsson, Marc Pouliot, Ryan Potulny and Riley Nash.

But who is in is what’s interesting and cheap. Picking up D-man Kurtis Foster for $1.8 million per season for two years was a smart move.  Getting Colin Fraser to a $825,000 per season contract will fix the hole on centre in the Oilers’ fourth line.

Brining back Steve MacIntyre was also a good move — a good idea to protect “the kids.”

On the other hand, reportedly offering $7 million over four years for Derek Boogaard was a tad ridiculous.

And not getting rid of Sheldon Souray at the draft is something that should affect his post-season grade from the Oil Patch.

Hopefully, Souray might realize he’s stuck in Edmonton and he will have to play and condition much harder to get out of Alberta’s capital. 

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