This may end up being a rare photo. Nikolai Khabibulin in an Oiler uniform after a victory. In a week that has proven to be full of overdue media conferences (Mark McGwire finally developing some spine) we get stone cold proof that Nikolai Khabibulin will have surgery.

I mentioned the day of the signing that I “liked the player, not the contract or term” and that remains true. Should Khabibulin have successful surgery, it makes sense to bring him to camp and include him in the group of men who’ll be relied on to stop the puck.

What is different now is that Steve Tambellini must find an actual NHL goalie to throw into the mix. Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk lack both the experience and pedigree to be counted on for the long haul.

What can Tambellini do? He can call Montreal for one, something some of us suggested about a year ago.

He can also make this move almost immediately. Worrying over losing JDD or DD to waivers at this point should be secondary to worrying about losing employment. This is a once proud franchise that has become a laughing stock, and even those of us who defend the Oildrop are left slack-jawed at the lack of depth and experience in goal and at center, and the sheer number of undersized skill forwards which borders on the insane.

Steve Tambellini must look upper management in the eyes and say the following: word is out, we’re not smarter than everybody else. We don’t have a solid foundation of quality veterans, the kids aren’t developing and we’re wasting a season in which we’ve spent the cap.

The Edmonton Oilers are melting.

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