Nikolai Khabibulin to start season on injured reserve

Paul Bereswill

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin will start the 2013 season on injured reserve.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin will begin the 2013 season on injured reserve, according to a post on the team's twitter account.

Khabibulin considers himself 'day-to-day,' as he continues to work back to form after undergoing surgery in April to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. At the time of the procedure, it was projected that the 40-year-old goaltender would miss six to eight months.

Originally anticipating being available on opening night, Khabibulin stated that upon entering training camp he realized that he required more time to acclimate himself to NHL shooters. With Khabibulin sidelined for an undefined amount of time, Yann Danis will act as the backup goaltender for Devan Dubnyk.

Khabibulin will be entering the final year of a four-year, $15 million contract this season and will be an unrestricted free agent next off-season. Since he was injured prior to the lockout being enacted on Sept. 15, he had been getting paid and receiving the care of the team's medical staff throughout the labor standoff.

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