Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin appeals sentence
Published Wednesday, September 1, 2010 4:17PM MDT
Edmonton Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin was sentenced to 30 days in jail after being found guilty of extreme DUI. His lawyer promptly filed an appeal.
Last Friday 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.
On Tuesday afternoon, 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.
Khabibulin signed with the Edmonton Oilers last year with a four-year $15 million contract. He played just 18 games before suffering a back injury, which required surgery.
Edmonton Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini told media Tuesday that he could not comment on what the sentence means for Khabibulin in the NHL.
"He's made a mistake but let me assure you, we are taking this very seriously," said Tambellini.
An impaired driving conviction in Canada is punishable under the Criminal Code.
"Under our Immigration Law, that makes him criminally inadmissible to Canada. And if he is not a Canadian citizen or not a permanent resident he's going to have some trouble coming back in," said immigration lawyer Wendy Danson.
Jail time for an impaired conviction in Canada is rare. CTV News was told aggravating factors such as a blood alcohol limit twice the legal limit is the discretion of the judge.
It's not clear how long the appeal will take, but Tambellini says it could be months or even longer. Before the appeal, Khabibulin was supposed to report to jail this Saturday.
With files from Serena Mah and David Mitchell