Canadian Corner – July 29, 2011.

A look at what Nikolai Khabibulin could expect in prison, Jannik Hansen accepted less money to re-sign with Vancouver, and the Canadiens prospect depth has fallen sharply.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Conal Pierse reports an Arizona judge has told the world’s toughest sheriff to take it easy on Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin during his two-week stint in the Maricopa County jail on an DUI charge.

“The goalie has been made eligible for a work-release program, meaning that from Monday to Friday, jail is just a camp-out in the desert. Khabibulin will spend 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. a free man to do as he pleases, and will not be required to wear the jail’s signature uniform, said Lt. Justin Griffin, spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office. No black and white stripes. No pink underwear.

The sheriff’s office received Khabibulin’s orders for confinement Thursday morning, informing it that despite Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s assurances to the contrary Wednesday, the goalie won’t get the same tough treatment given other inmates.

As long as Khabibulin behaves himself, Griffin said, he will be allowed to wear civilian clothing and will be free to spend his days as he chooses.“Quite honestly, in work release he could go home for 12 hours a day,” Griffin said. “He could go home, shower, change and do whatever he does.” “

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I daresay it’ll be enough to ensure Khabibulin never again drinks and drives.


VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford reports winger Jannik Hansen left some money on the table by avoiding arbitration and agreeing to a three-year contract with the Canucks, but he’s not the only Canuck to do that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s obvious Hansen, and others who did the same, believe they’ve got a Stanley Cup worthy lineup and want to remain part of it. Besides, if he plays well over the course of the next three seasons, he’ll be in line for a more expensive contract, either with the Canucks, or another club. 


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Mike Boone of “Hockey Inside/Out” noted the website Hockey Prospectus has a low opinion of the Canadiens current depth in prospects, ranking the club 24th overall:

Over the past decade, the Habs used to have a secure spot amongst the elite systems in hockey, but the consistent dealing of draft picks coupled with underwhelming projections for some of their first round picks have dropped them into the bottom-tier of the league.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of notable concern is the development of Danny Kristo and Jarred Tinordi, who the site claimed didn’t play well at all last season. Those two were considered amongst the Canadiens top prospects, so this assessment has to be worrying. I suspect however this year’s draft picks, including the selection of Nathan Beaulieu, indicates Habs management are aware of the potential problem and have begun making moves to address it.


  1. As a oilers fan, if khabby was to screw up, get locked up longer, or decide to take on a Steven Seagal type career in law enforcement, please do! and leave the net for doobie to tend.

  2. I’m annoyed by Montreal’s tendency to trade away second round draft pics for quick fixes. I get the feeling that they operate under a “make the playoffs every year” policy. The Wisniewski trade was a clear example of this. I liked Wisniewski and still do, but did we really have to trade some draft picks for a quick fix we weren’t planning to resign? Why didn’t we simply give Yannick Webber the ice time?

    I still have a hard time understanding why exactly the Habs felt the need to trade up in the draft last year to pick up Jake Tinordi.

    Hopefully Kristo’s poor play was a result of the infamous frosbite incident.

  3. I will admit that the Hab system needs some help but I was a little bothered by the judgement on Tinordi. I do think he had a rough year but he was also playing a higher level of hockey, more games, and he is a D-man who is 19 years old. Most Dmen take longer than forward to develop so I think there is still a lot of reason to think he will be fine. We will have a cleared picture of him after this year. I do agree that we have made some curios descisions regarding our trades. How much stronger would our sustem look if McDonagh and Valentenko were still in the system? I seem to remember that this past draft was suppose to be weak, in the sense that there were only a few high end talent and the rest was kind of on the same plateau, hence why the picks were traded. Next year is suppose to be a strong draft so PG better hold onto picks/acquire them.

  4. Trust me when I say that Sheriff Joe Arpaio tactics are very humiliating and to be spared the embarrassment he can inflict is quite the feat to say the least…but you know what, I don;t want a drunk driver on the road no matter where the live or who they are…