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Preseason Game #6: Blackhawks @ Stars

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Sigh. Another preseason game with no TV or radio, but the regular season is only 9 days away, so I think we can all manage. The Hawks have lost a couple of games in a row and come into this one with a 3-1-1 preseason record. The lineup for tonight has not been posted yet on the official site. Let's just keep everyone healthy.

The roster is down to 35 at present time, as Evan Brophey, Pascal Pelletier and Petri Kontiola were the latest guys to be sent down. Kontiola surprised me because he was a guy I was expecting to earn a roster spot as a center, but it doesn't appear so. Doug Janik was also claimed by the Stars today.

In other news, there is now talk that Nikolai Khabibulin may be playing in Russia this year. From Sportsnet:

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin could be headed to Russia after clearing waivers earlier this week.

In order to shed payroll, the Blackhawks are to prepared to loan their high-priced former all-star to a club in the Continental Hockey League (KHL), Sportsnet has learned.

If a deal is reached, Chicago could knock the value of the final year on Khabibulin's contract, worth US$6.75 million, off their salary cap. Furthermore, the NHL team could have most if not all of the remaining salary paid by the borrowing club.

Sources say negotiations are ongoing and it has not been determined which KHL team would end up with his services. The inside track may belong to HC Dinamo Minsk in Belarus where it's believed Khabibulin has family.

Wow, uh, that's not something I was thinking of as an option. I guess it makes sense with him having family over in Belarus where he might end up, but I figured there was some kind of NHLPA rule against loaning a player to a team in another league. It sounds like this would be a fantastic "deal" for the Hawks because Khabibulin's salary would come off the cap and his remaining contract money would be paid by whoever picks him up. Let's hope they can get something done and move on with the regular season not far away.