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Chicago Blackhawks put goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin on waivers

CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks have put goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin on waivers, a team spokesman confirmed Monday.

Khabibulin is entering the final season of a US$27-million, four-year contract. He joined the Blackhawks from Tampa Bay as a free agent after leading the Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks signed free agent goalie Cristobal Huet to a $22.5-million, four-year deal in July, giving them two top goaltenders.

Khabibulin was the Blackhawks' highest-paid player until free agent defenceman Brian Campbell signed a $56.8-million, eight-year contract with the team July 1.

Khabibulin has been inconsistent and injured over the past three seasons. In 2007-08, he appeared in 50 games, posting a 23-20-6 record with a 2.63 goals against average and .909 save percentage.

"We're going to do what's best for the Chicago Blackhawks," general manager Dale Tallon said in August about the two No. 1 goalies. "If that means keeping Nick, we'll do that. If not, we'll move on."

The Blackhawks finished 40-34-8 last season.

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AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report. With files from The Canadian Press.

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