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February 21, 2012 | 10:30am ET
Khabibulin out 7-10 days
TheFourthPeriod.com

According to the Edmonton Sun, veteran goalie Nikolai Khabibulin will be out seven-to-ten days with a groin injury, which will see him return no sooner than the day before the Feb. 27 trade deadline.

The 39-year-old, who has been involved in recent trade rumors, will most likely get the go-ahead from the medical staff to return to the net when all the trade talk should be exhausted.

Although GM Steve Tambellini mentioned last week that he didn't want to move Khabibulin, the Oilers would be well served to be careful with the veteran, who could still serve as insurance for a Cup contender.

Khabibulin, who has one year left on his contact after this season, tweaked his groin in the first period of Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

"At first it was tight, but then the pain started to get a little sharper," he told the Sun. "I probably could have finished the game, but I think, along with the trainers, it would have been better off not to push it at that point."

The goaltender has not been part of the post-season since signing a four-year, free-agent deal with the Oilers back in 2009, but believes the team is heading in the right decision to eventually make it to the playoffs.

"The results aren't there this year again, but I think we're on the right track. And I really do like it here," he added. "You do want to play games that mean something and it would be nice to be in the playoffs but ... I want to see this team succeed.

"When that happens, I want to be a part of it."

In 34 games with the Oilers this season, Khabibulin had registered a .914 save percentage and 2.60 goals-against average.

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