Chicago Blackhawks Greatest 100- #80 Nikolai Khabibulin

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 16: Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 16: Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin /

The Chicago Blackhawks again have had some great goalies in their heritage, and one of their latest goalie hits our list at #80! 

The Chicago Blackhawks were looking for a starting goalie back in the summer of 2005, and the Dale Tallon administration signed Nikolai Khabibulin to be the backstop for the long term future of the Chicago Blackhawks.

It seemed like a lot but he was coming off a Stanley Cup Championship with the Tampa Bay Lightning so it wasn’t total unrealistic that he could be the goalie for the long term for the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Khabibulin era wasn’t what many thought it would be even though he was playing at the very tale end of the worst days of being a Chicago Blackhawks fan or player.

He did do what was expected of him during the 2008-2009 season going 25-8-7 and winning 8 games during the playoffs while leading the very young Chicago Blackhawks team to their first Western Conference Final since 1995.

He probably won’t go down as one of your favorite Blackhawks player, but he was the backstop for the team as they builded their confidence a year before they would go on to win the Stanley Cup.

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In the summer of 2009, Dale Tallon chose Antti Niemi and Cristobal Huet over Khabibulin which ended up being the right call for the Chicago Blackhawks with Niemi leading the team to their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.

The Chicago Blackhawks would bring back Khabibulin back in 2013, but he wasn’t the same and only lasted 4 games.  He left with a groin injury and then it was said he had a rotator cuff injury, but either way we never saw him back on the ice, and just like that his career was over.

Khabibulin had a record of 91-80-25 while being the backstop of the Chicago Blackhawks, and he’s #80 on our Greatest Blackhawks countdown.

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Only 80 days left until the Chicago Blackhawks host the Pittsburgh Penguins at the United Center!