Khabibulin takes conviction 'very seriously'
Published Friday, September 17, 2010 6:02PM MDT
It's been a few weeks since Edmonton Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin was handed a 30-day jail sentence after being found guilty of extreme DUI. The goalie was at work Friday for the first day of training camp. He says he is taking the conviction very seriously.
"This is something I wish I didn't have to deal and I spent a lot of time dealing with it this summer, I'm taking it very seriously," he told reporters Friday.
Khabibulin says he is thrilled to get back to doing what he loves.
"I'm so so excited to be back and be in a team environment again, and you know I feel healthy, so for me overall it's been very exciting," he said.
On August 27th, in an Arizona courtroom, the 37-year-old hockey player was convicted on three other counts, including driving with a blood alcohol content that is twice the legal limit in Arizona and excessive speeding.
The goaltender was handed the minimum jail sentence for the offences. Khabibulin has also been ordered to attend an alcohol screening and treatment program and pay fines totalling $5,126.60.
The charges stem from an incident on Feb. 8 in Scottsdale, Arizona when Khabibulin was pulled over by police. Officers said his blood alcohol content (BAC) was .164 -- more than double the legal limit.
According to court documents, Khabibulin was clocked driving his Ferrari 70 m.p.h. in a 45 m.p.h. zone – the equivalent of driving roughly 110 kilometres in an area with a 70-km speed limit.
He now admits his recent trouble has been difficult on his wife and daughter.
Oilers coach Tom Renney says the team is doing everything it can to make sure Khabibulin feels comfortable coming back.
"There are some things we can control and certainly internally our environment is one of them, and outside of that we don't have a whole lot of control of how we choose to deal with things," he said.
Renney says the subject of Khabibulin being pulled out of the early season line-up to serve his sentence hasn't come up. The focus of Friday's gathering was about his physical condition.
Khabibulin's lawyer quickly filed an appeal after the sentence was handed down.
A date for his appeal has not yet been set.
With files from David Ewasuk and Dave Mitchell