Nikolai Khabibulin focusing on hockey

Updated: September 18, 2010, 9:41 AM ET
Associated Press

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Nikolai Khabibulin arrived at the Edmonton Oilers' training camp determined to focus on hockey and not a possible jail sentence for drunken driving in Arizona.

Khabibulin
Khabibulin

"It is what it is," the 37-year-old Russian goalie said Friday. "It's not something I wish I had to go through. It's hard on everybody -- my family, my wife, my daughter. ... When everything gets resolved, we'll deal with it. I try not to read the newspapers."

Khabibulin, who played for Phoenix from 1996 to 1999 and has a home in Paradise Valley, was pulled over Feb. 8 in his Ferrari after the car was clocked at 70 mph in a 45-mph zone. Police said an officer smelled alcohol and Khabibulin was arrested after a field sobriety test.

He was convicted on three counts last month, received a minimum 30-day sentence, was fined $5,100 and ordered to enroll in an alcohol-treatment program. His lawyer immediately appealed, but didn't say on what grounds. The appeals process could last months or even a year.

Khabibulin is in the second year of a four-year, $15 million deal he signed as a free agent. He played just 18 games last season before a herniated disk in his back forced him to have surgery in January.

"As of right now, I'm feel like I'm healthy," he said. "For me, if I can play 60 games at a high level, that would be pretty good."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE