TBT: Former Coyote Khabibulin receives minimum sentence for DUI

Note:  I’ve been going through some of my old articles from my old sites and I’m going to post them every now and then.  This article is from August 31, 2010 when I covered Nikolai Kabibulin’s DUI sentencing in Scottsdale.  Back then when I wasn’t posting press releases to help get more visibility on Google (more frequent posting = more love from the Search Engines) I did churn out some good stuff.  Looking back on this 4 years later, I’m pretty impressed on how this turned out.  I’ll do some more ‘Throwback Thursday’ posts down the line.  There’s some good stuff I’ve been digging up.

SCOTTSDALE-This afternoon former Phoenix Coyotes and current Edmonton Oilers Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin received the Arizona State minimum sentence, for a February 8th DUI arrest near his home in Paradise Valley.

According to prosecuting attorney Caren Close, the minimum sentence for this case is 30 days in jail with a minimum fine of $507.60 for DUI assessment plus $500.00 Arizona Department of Public Safety fines along with Jail costs. In addition, Khabibulin will have to undergo Arizona State certified alcohol screening and counseling.

Khabibulin’s attorney, Mark DuBiel stated that the Oilers goaltender has been in the NHL/NHL Players Association Substance abuse program, as described in the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, since the incident occurred in February.

DuBiel stated in a press conference following the sentencing that the paperwork for an appeal has already been filed. “We’ve started that process” DuBiel said. “(We) Filed the paperwork as soon as the judge signed all the proper sentencing documents”.  DuBiel continued, “The appellate process has officially started and that started with me filing the paperwork.”

It should be noted even though DuBiel filed the noticed for appeal, he still has to go through all the court records to determine what will be appealed. “We haven’t said what we’re appealing.  But the notice of appeal says that an appeal is coming.”

In addition, because the appeal was filed today, Khabibulin has not been officially sentenced. His sentence is stayed until the appeals process has run it’s course.

DuBiel would not comment on the outcome of the case or the facts of the case due to the ongoing status of the case and appeal.

Had Khabibulin not appealed the decision, he would have had to report for jail within a reasonable time after a period of 14 days following his sentencing. In the Sate of Arizona, 14 days is the time that Nikolai Khabibulin would have had to file an appeal following his sentencing.

Edmonton Oilers assistant General Manager Rick Olczyk was in Scottsdale today during the sentencing and declined to comment.  Olczyk referred all statements about the matter to Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini’s press conference that was scheduled to take place following Khabibulin’s sentencing.

As of right now, Khabibulin is free to leave the State of Arizona and the United States.   DuBiel stated that “Right now he’s (Khabibulin) looking forward to the season. That’s his main focus.”

Oilers fans are probably wondering now if Khabibulin will be welcomed into the Edmonton Oilers training camp.

Edmonton Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini simply stated during a press conference in Edmonton (following the sentencing):

“Can He (Khabibulin) come to training camp? Yes he can.”

Tambellini also wanted to make one other thing clear to the assembled media in Edmonton.

“Let me assure you that this organization is treating this matter very seriously”

Because of the appeal, the Oilers will not comment on the sentencing or any disciplinary action until the appeals process has run its course.

When reached by e-mail, the NHL Players Association declined to comment on today’s sentencing.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly released the following statement about today’s sentencing:

“We will make decisions on appropriate next steps, if any, in consultation with the club and with our program doctors responsible for administering our Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program. No such decisions have been made at this time.”

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