Edmonton Oilers Need To Consider Trading Nikolai Khabibulin

By Andy Schmidt
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers have been a team in recent years that has failed so miserably that they find themselves with the top pick in the National Hockey League draft over and over again. While Edmonton is getting good contributions from those players, it was an older player that did the dirty work for the Oilers during a 3-2 win on Saturday night. That was Nikolai Khabibulin, who has bounced around the NHL but stopped 34 shots and did just enough in the shootout to give Edmonton a win to move the team back to 7-7-3 for the season. With the youth on this team though, Khabibulin becomes a player that could very easily find himself being traded.

At 40 years old, there isn’t much time left in the career of Khabibulin but with a 1.89 goals against average this season, a team like the New York Islanders may be interested in trying to get his services. Khabibulin is a very solid goaltender who has a career .500 record but with the right team in front of him could become a very streaky and winning goalie.

Edmonton is likely not going anywhere the rest of the season in regards to the playoffs. The team should seriously consider the idea of moving Khabibulin and getting someone younger in return that can help this team next season where I think the Oilers can make some serious noise. Edmonton may want to keep Khabibulin around for that season but the smartest way to go about this right now would be to make the move away from Khabibulin while his trade value is high.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.

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