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.