Khabibulin destined for Kings?
During the introduction of goalie Cristobal Huet last week, Chicago GM Dale Tallon said he wouldn't have a problem retaining Nikolai Khabibulin to give the Blackhawks two veterans in net. Nice try. Together, the goalies stand to earn $12.375 million in 2008-09, a crippling 21.8 percent of the $56.7 million cap. It would be the most salary committed to the position by an NHL team, nearly $5 million more than the $7.6 million the Rangers (second-most dollars devoted to goal) have committed to Henrik Lundqvist and Stephen Valiquette. The logical landing spot for Khabibulin is Los Angeles, where GM Dean Lombardi desperately needs some experience to make sure his baby-faced defense doesn't crack under repeated beatings. Considering the Kings would be doing Chicago a favor by taking on Khabibulin's salary (the team's second-highest behind defenseman Brian Campbell's $7.1 million annual paycheck), it wouldn't take much for Lombardi to land the veteran netminder he needs.