Chicago Blackhawks Free Agency Update: Out With The Old In With The Older!

By Keith Schultz

Nov 13, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Edmonton Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (35) fails to make a save on a goal scored by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (not pictured) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks in another surprising move have signed goalie Nikolai Khabibulin to a one year contract to fill the void left by Ray Emery who signed earlier in the day with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Like Michal Handzus, this will be the 2nd go around for Khabibulin with the Blackhawks.  He was their starting goalie from 2005-2009 but wasn’t re-signed the year before the Stanley Cup because the Hawks had Cristobal Huet to lead them into the 2009-2010 season (Thanks Antti Niemi)

Khabibulin is 40 years old and will strictly be a back up to Corey Crawford.  Last season Khabibulin was 4-6 with the Edmonton Oilers with a .923 save percentage and a 2.54 goals against average.

This is another Stan Bowman move to bring in a veteran guy and it could be a bright signal of how the organization feels about Antti Raanta going into 2013-2014! Khabibulin is a veteran that will know his role and be a good veteran to Corey Crawford who lost his mentor in Stephen Waite this week.

What do you think of Khabibulin returning?

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