Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks placed goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin on waivers, according to a report in the Chicago Sun Times on Monday, the first step for the club to eventually move the veteran.
The 35-year-old Russian is the odd man out in the 'Hawks goaltending rotation, which also includes free-agent signee Cristobal Huet, Corey Crawford and the untested Antti Niemi.
After a short stint with Washington at the end of last season, Huet inked a $22.5 million deal over four years to come to Chicago.
Khabibulin was 23-20-6 with a 2.63 goals-against average and two shutouts a year ago as the Chicago starter.
He came to the Blackhawks as a blockbuster free-agent signing following the cancelled 2004-05 season on a four-year contract worth $27 million, fresh from leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup in 2004.
Over a 12-year career with the Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise, Tampa Bay and Chicago, Khabibulin is 274-259-17 with 58 ties, a 2.69 GAA and 38 shutouts over 636 games.
NHL clubs have 24 hours to claim him off waivers before his rights revert back to the Blackhawks.