Khabibulin: busted in Arizona

Robin Brownlee
February 17 2010 02:39PM

Recovering from season-ending back surgery isn't the only challenge facing Nikolai Khabibulin these days. Khabibulin is also in trouble with the law after being charged with driving under the influence and speeding in Scottsdale, Arizona back on Feb. 8.

Here's an account of the charges against Khabibulin, first reported on an Arizona blog, by Curtis Stock of the Edmonton Journal

"Edmonton Oiler goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has been arrested in Arizona on charges of driving under the influence and speeding.

 Khabibulin, who had season-ending back surgery on Jan. 14, was arrested by Scottsdale police on Feb. 8. After agreeing to take the standard Field Sobriety Test as well as consenting to take a blood test, Khabibulin was cited for a blood level alcohol content of .08 or more. He was also charged with exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 miles per hour.

Radar clocked Khabibulin driving his black Ferrari 70 mph in a 45-mph zone, the police report says."

OILERS TIGHT-LIPPED

I put in a phone call to Khabibulin's New York-based agent, Jay Grossman, after the story broke this afternoon, but didn't get a reply from him before posting this.

Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe, in Vancouver for the Olympics, was asked about the situation on Oilers Lunch, hosted by Bob Stauffer.

Said Lowe: "Well, we're just hearing about it ourselves actually, quite frankly unfortunately. So, we really don't have too much to say until we get the full details.

"We've been trying to track down Nikolai, who is, like a lot of guys, or most guys, on a holiday during the Olympics. Hopefully, it's not the case, but if it is confirmed, (we'd) be very disappointed that we're just finding out this way.

"Like I say, we'll just defer any comment until we talk to him ourselves."

Obviously, neither Khabibulin nor Grossman saw fit to contact the Oilers to inform the team of the charges.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#151 Smiley
February 17 2010, 09:16PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Shaun White on the halfpipe. That guy is so much better than the rest of the field.

No kidding. That guy is just friggin epic... Too bad the CTV's commentators are so.painfully.lame. to listen to :(

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#152 rubbertrout
February 17 2010, 09:18PM
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Smiley wrote:

No kidding. That guy is just friggin epic... Too bad the CTV's commentators are so.painfully.lame. to listen to :(

Sounds like Mr. Rogers doing commentary. Pretty painful.

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#153 Archaeologuy
February 17 2010, 09:19PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Are these part of the problems that happen when you hire a GM with no experience running the show? His first real marks on any team are the moves he made this last summer. Does he feel like he needs to prove that his moves were good? Like IF the Oilers had been HEALTHY the team would be significantly better, proving that he wasnt wrong.

It explains his trepidation towards making changes. Maybe I'm just trying to too hard to explain the psyche of the blandest Manager in Oiler history. I dont know.

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#154 rubbertrout
February 17 2010, 09:20PM
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Harlie wrote:

uhh..do you remember who Coached here for 8 years and his background story? The Org didn't seem to mind that, so I can't see them blowing this up too much either.

But Mac-T didn't have a cap hit. Memories appear to be pretty short. People didn't like Mac-T because the team wasn't winning and they blamed him. Nobody seemed to remember that he did some time after someone died due to his impaired driving.

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#155 Archaeologuy
February 17 2010, 09:20PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

Sounds like Mr. Rogers doing commentary. Pretty painful.

Except if Mr Rogers used the word "Stoked" as often as those two it would have been less awkward.

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#156 rubbertrout
February 17 2010, 09:23PM
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Jasmine wrote:

Exactly. It's frustrating hearing all this negativity of the Oilers and their players. You're right that it isn't the organization but the fans and media. Look no further than how Horcoff is being treated right now. He has three assists against Anaheim in the last game prior to the Olympic break and fans booed him everytime he was on the ice.

Anyone else see the irony in the fact that Jasmine is using noted Horcoff hater Aleslv Smidsky as support for how poorly Horcoff is treated by the fans?

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#157 6 ring circus
February 17 2010, 09:24PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

As if this $15-million sh*tshow, otherwise known as the signing of Khabibulin, hasn't been the unflipped switch that derails Tambellini's fledgling career as an NHL GM already . . .

Bad contract. Bad back. Bad choices.

Was Lowe the one who hired Tambellini? and if so, shouldnt Katz fire both of them and start with a new management team?

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#158 rubbertrout
February 17 2010, 09:25PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Except if Mr Rogers used the word "Stoked" as often as those two it would have been less awkward.

I got the impression that the guy had the trick names written down and was trying to sound as though he knew something about the sport. I've never heard such awkward and uninformed discussion--and I've heard Nick Kypreos and Doug McLean talking about hockey.

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#159 Robin Brownlee
February 17 2010, 09:26PM
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@Archaeologuy

"Significantly better" with everything falling into place and no injuries is probably a fair statement, but even that, in my books, made this team an also-ran.

That, as in an exciting stretch drive and either sneaking into eighth place or just missing, has been good enough around here for too long in the minds of some people.

This epic failure of a season has at least jolted the organization into talking about undertaking a proper rebuild. As for action to back that up, we'll obviously have to wait.

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#160 cookie
February 17 2010, 09:26PM
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Hey, I'm in Phoenix now and it barely makes the news down here. I suspect Steve's press release says nothing, just like his actions. 910 on the radio dial.

Drunk driving is a terrible thing with all the choice one has and the money he has. If he is found guilty, that should be reason enough to get out of the contract.

They were talking about the hockey team down here and the ownership issue. It was brought up that same thing could happen in Edmonton as the current owner really doesn't have all the money he says he has. I almost fell over. Is there any truth to this and could this be why he doesn't want to put his money into the rink? That's what they are suggesting down here.

75 degrees down here and golfing is great. Hope to run into Rod Phillips, does anyone know where he is at, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe,etc?

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#161 6 ring circus
February 17 2010, 09:33PM
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Robin, Is it not about time Katz approached Rich Winter and offer him the Presidents and Gm job? Winter is based out of Edmonton, he represents alot of top talent and with his contacts with other player agents and General managers I think he would be the Oilers best bet to turn this organization around.

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#162 Robin Brownlee
February 17 2010, 09:33PM
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@cookie

Who is "they" and what makes you think I or anybody else has an accurate financial picture of what Katz is worth?

And not "having all the money" he says he has means what? His net worth as of 2008 was estimated to be something north of $2 billion Cdn by Forbes. If that is, say, $300 million off, he's not hurting.

And Rod is in Buckeye.

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#163 Robin Brownlee
February 17 2010, 09:37PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

Robin, Is it not about time Katz approached Rich Winter and offer him the Presidents and Gm job? Winter is based out of Edmonton, he represents alot of top talent and with his contacts with other player agents and General managers I think he would be the Oilers best bet to turn this organization around.

No, it is not about time Katz approached Ritch Winter. That will not happen while Daryl owns the team.

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#164 6 ring circus
February 17 2010, 09:47PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

No, it is not about time Katz approached Ritch Winter. That will not happen while Daryl owns the team.

Ok sorry, obviously there is more to this than what I know,I just thought he would be a good choice, then again I don't own the team, I'm just a season seat holder.

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#165 cookie
February 17 2010, 09:48PM
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That is what I thought, he has more money than we will ever see. Buckeye is nice and has a nice golf course but it is a ways from the airport.

Do you think after you wrote that maybe Tambo needs to move on, that Mr Katz would bring back Kevin Lowe as GM? I think he did a good job while he was the GM.He could turn this team around don't you think?

The sport radio show 910 sure could use you Robin

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#167 OilFan
February 17 2010, 10:07PM
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I'd like to hear Robin on Sat radio.

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#168 GideanYates
February 17 2010, 10:19PM
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@6 ring circus

"Was Lowe the one who hired Tambellini? and if so, shouldnt Katz fire both of them and start with a new management team?"

That's called accountability and it couldn't happen soon enough.

That being said in the post salary cap era it seems clear to me that prototypical GM skillsets need tweaking and future GM's need to be numbers guys as making cap mistakes can render any asset into boat anchors and cripple team building.

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#169 6 ring circus
February 17 2010, 10:36PM
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@GideanYates

We will find out in the next few months,If the Oilers know the meaning of accountability.I also agree with you, that the future GM of this team will need to have a diverse skill set.

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#170 Gunner
February 17 2010, 10:37PM
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Robin, I'm keeping a sharp eye on Cervenka tonite...

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#171 esa tikkanen
February 17 2010, 10:46PM
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Robin

FWIW Cervanka is listed at hockey DB at 5'7 130 pounds. sounds wrong but who knows? Their stats on other players is pretty close to accurate..

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#172 Gunner
February 17 2010, 10:49PM
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He doesn't look that small.

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#173 Wanye
February 17 2010, 10:58PM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

Why do you want me gone from your little bubble cult?

I didn't offend anyone. I'm sorry I don't have enough heart to feel sympathetic for every sap story I hear or read. If you guys really cared you should have replied to him something along the lines of "I'm sorry to hear about your brother." instead of going at me.

For the love of the Gods man put a cork in it. You have done the unthinkable and actually pissed ME off with all this nonsense.

You don't know who MADD is? You want to act like an idiot on THIS topic?

You have the honour of being my second IP ban in the history of the site. You have been silenced for 1 week my chum.

Let this be a lesson to everyone. On days when starting goalies get DUIs and the Oilers are in last place in the league and it's Wednesday - don't piss people off on here to the point that several ask for you to be banned.

PLEASE.

Think of the Children.

*thinks of the Children*

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#174 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
February 17 2010, 11:09PM
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cookie wrote:

Hey, I'm in Phoenix now and it barely makes the news down here. I suspect Steve's press release says nothing, just like his actions. 910 on the radio dial.

Drunk driving is a terrible thing with all the choice one has and the money he has. If he is found guilty, that should be reason enough to get out of the contract.

They were talking about the hockey team down here and the ownership issue. It was brought up that same thing could happen in Edmonton as the current owner really doesn't have all the money he says he has. I almost fell over. Is there any truth to this and could this be why he doesn't want to put his money into the rink? That's what they are suggesting down here.

75 degrees down here and golfing is great. Hope to run into Rod Phillips, does anyone know where he is at, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe,etc?

Deep Oil just popped wood.

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#175 Librarian Mike
February 17 2010, 11:21PM
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@Wanye

I and the children thank you, Wanye.

http://www.row.org/countries/belize/images/thankyou01.jpg

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#176 David S
February 17 2010, 11:31PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

I and the children thank you, Wanye.

http://www.row.org/countries/belize/images/thankyou01.jpg

Seriously man. You have the biggest set of jpeg links I've ever seen.

*Guesses that's why he's a librarian*

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#177 David S
February 17 2010, 11:32PM
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This Jagr guy is rippin' it up!

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#178 Librarian Mike
February 17 2010, 11:38PM
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@David S

What can I say; I love the links. ha.

I'd only consider Jagr if he regrows the poodle mullet. That, or if he actually agrees to play here.

*puts on The Carpenters and cries self to sleep*

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#179 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
February 17 2010, 11:41PM
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David S wrote:

This Jagr guy is rippin' it up!

Look how happy Lubo is playing with actual NHL talent.

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#180 David S
February 17 2010, 11:44PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Look how happy Lubo is playing with actual NHL talent.

~Just think how happy he'll be coming back to Edmonton.~

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#181 Travis Dakin
February 18 2010, 12:48AM
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Wanye wrote:

For the love of the Gods man put a cork in it. You have done the unthinkable and actually pissed ME off with all this nonsense.

You don't know who MADD is? You want to act like an idiot on THIS topic?

You have the honour of being my second IP ban in the history of the site. You have been silenced for 1 week my chum.

Let this be a lesson to everyone. On days when starting goalies get DUIs and the Oilers are in last place in the league and it's Wednesday - don't piss people off on here to the point that several ask for you to be banned.

PLEASE.

Think of the Children.

*thinks of the Children*

Don't take this the wrong way but, my pants just became really tight because of what you just said. Is that wrong?

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#182 Moop
February 18 2010, 01:03AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Don't take this the wrong way but, my pants just became really tight because of what you just said. Is that wrong?

It depends...was it the thinking about children part that set you off?

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#183 Biowolf
February 18 2010, 01:03AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

Yeah, Jagr would not be a good fit. That guy CAN PLAY. Bring in someone from the Slowakian Womens team.

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#184 Travis Dakin
February 18 2010, 02:25AM
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Moop wrote:

It depends...was it the thinking about children part that set you off?

HAHAHA I see what you did there. You silly guy you.*

*Was not thinking of the children.*

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#185 Reagan
February 18 2010, 06:44AM
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Vodka, Vodka, Vodka!!!

:)

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#186 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 18 2010, 06:46AM
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Okay, so there have been some pretty serious rumours floating around about some billionaire picking up the Thrashers and moving them to Winnipeg. I haven't actually read a story about it but a few people I know (that don't know each other) have been talking about it.

Anybody hear anything about that?

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#188 Deep Oil
February 18 2010, 07:28AM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Okay, so there have been some pretty serious rumours floating around about some billionaire picking up the Thrashers and moving them to Winnipeg. I haven't actually read a story about it but a few people I know (that don't know each other) have been talking about it.

Anybody hear anything about that?

Actually, more on Ice Edge not coming up with the subsidies from the City of Glendale to stay in AZ - Bettman will have egg on his face with the board......and pulling the chute..... Thompson family backing the team in Winnipeg, a real billionaire from the media days prior to the bust. Forbes is not a good source, but Thompson is possibly the second richest person in Canada with over 22 billion in assets.

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#189 rubbertrout
February 18 2010, 07:39AM
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Wanye wrote:

For the love of the Gods man put a cork in it. You have done the unthinkable and actually pissed ME off with all this nonsense.

You don't know who MADD is? You want to act like an idiot on THIS topic?

You have the honour of being my second IP ban in the history of the site. You have been silenced for 1 week my chum.

Let this be a lesson to everyone. On days when starting goalies get DUIs and the Oilers are in last place in the league and it's Wednesday - don't piss people off on here to the point that several ask for you to be banned.

PLEASE.

Think of the Children.

*thinks of the Children*

Thank you kind sir. You are both a scholar and a gentleman.

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#190 Dyckster
February 18 2010, 07:48AM
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Deep Oil wrote:

Actually, more on Ice Edge not coming up with the subsidies from the City of Glendale to stay in AZ - Bettman will have egg on his face with the board......and pulling the chute..... Thompson family backing the team in Winnipeg, a real billionaire from the media days prior to the bust. Forbes is not a good source, but Thompson is possibly the second richest person in Canada with over 22 billion in assets.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Atlanta/2009/10/04/11298236-sun.html

I saw this yesterday. Being an ex-Winnipeger it would be nice, but I can't see it. They would need to add 2000 - 4000 seats to the MTS Centre as well. Crossing my fingers though!

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#191 Me
February 18 2010, 07:56AM
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Robin, do we know if he even contacted his agent?

We both agree that mr. Grossman had am obligation to report it to the oilers but that would assume that khabibulin contacted his agent.

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#192 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
February 18 2010, 07:56AM
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I see lots of judgement still being passed without us knowing anything. Do we know that the Oilers really didn't know about this? Is it possible maybe Bulin only had one glass of wine, but because of his back do the field sobriety tests?

Granted the above is probably not true, but we sure seem to be doing guilty until proven innocent.

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#193 Deep Oil
February 18 2010, 08:09AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I see lots of judgement still being passed without us knowing anything. Do we know that the Oilers really didn't know about this? Is it possible maybe Bulin only had one glass of wine, but because of his back do the field sobriety tests?

Granted the above is probably not true, but we sure seem to be doing guilty until proven innocent.

Getting off a DUI in AZ is almost impossible. 90% plead guilty.

Nik did not blow - no reading so people that say he blew over .08 are wrong.

He has been charged with being slightly impaired.

He gave blood, tests not back. If it comes back under .08 then he has a chance, but driving under the influence of prescription drugs is a NO NO.

Either he didn't tell the team, or the Oilers were hiding this and got caught on their own radio show.

Based on the arrest report, he needed to call a lawyer, not a friend - bad move.

Last time I checked, he is innocent until proven guilty, but fighting a DUI in AZ is an uphill battle.

Jail time of 10 days is mandatory for all misdemeanor convictions - really.

Could of been worse, goaltender, fast car, booze, we have seen this before with Pelle Lindburgh.

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#194 Dyckster
February 18 2010, 08:13AM
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Getting off the topic only slightly, a morning radio guy brought up a good point (IMO) this morning. With as bad a back as Bulin has, wouldn't getting in and out of a Ferrari be somewhat stressful on an already stressed out back. Made sense to me....

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#195 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
February 18 2010, 08:27AM
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@Deep Oil

I heard nine days, but that really doesn't matter at this point.

I question though if the Oilers really knew what would we expect them to do? Have a press conference saying what happened? Generally speaking when any athlete does something stupid do we hear the team come out with it first or the media? And usually the comment by the team is we are waiting to get for info.

What is slightly impaired? Is that what our 24 hour suspensions use to be?

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#196 stilldrinkingthekoolaid
February 18 2010, 09:05AM
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Listen folks

Drinking and driving is just plain wrong!

There is imho no excuses and there should be NO leniency.

I dont care if Gretzky himself was caught!

On the light side, I wonder if Katz is feeling this way about getting the Oilers

SPOCK: (to Stonn) "After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical; but it is often true."

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#197 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 18 2010, 09:18AM
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Dyckster wrote:

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Atlanta/2009/10/04/11298236-sun.html

I saw this yesterday. Being an ex-Winnipeger it would be nice, but I can't see it. They would need to add 2000 - 4000 seats to the MTS Centre as well. Crossing my fingers though!

2000 more seats could be done, I think. They need to reconsider the John Labatt Lounge, but it could be done.

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#198 Ender
February 18 2010, 09:30AM
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Wanye wrote:

Ah.

*Get ready for this one*

Thanks DeepOil for both of your posts you have shed light on this for all of us.

EW EW I FEEL ALL SLIMY

Crazy, I know. When the guy isn't ranting and giving fifth-grade English teachers aneurisms, he can be surprisingly insightful.

Here's hoping that this doesn't go to his head and that he continues to utilize the wonders that are punctuation and sentence structure.

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#199 Wanye
February 18 2010, 09:35AM
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stilldrinkingthekoolaid wrote:

Listen folks

Drinking and driving is just plain wrong!

There is imho no excuses and there should be NO leniency.

I dont care if Gretzky himself was caught!

On the light side, I wonder if Katz is feeling this way about getting the Oilers

SPOCK: (to Stonn) "After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical; but it is often true."

Yeah, but I think we can all agree that if something bad DID ever happen to Gretzky it is the Patriotic Duty of the nearest Canadian when he commits the crime to take the rap for him.

I know if I was walking down the street and saw the Great One standing over a corpse with a smoking gun and I could hear police sirens approaching in the background, I would take the gun from Gretzky and tell him to run while I held off the federales and took the rap.

I would do this and so would all of you.

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#200 Dyckster
February 18 2010, 09:37AM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

2000 more seats could be done, I think. They need to reconsider the John Labatt Lounge, but it could be done.

According to the building's website, seating capacity for hockey is 15,015. 2000 add'l seats would be the minimum amount they would need to add to adapt to an NHL team.

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