Dust off those No. 39 jerseys Chicago because the Bulin wall is back. That's right, goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Blackhawks.
Some way view Bulin's departure four years ago as leaving one year too early and his return as coming back one year too late. He left the Hawks the year before they won the cup in 2010 and now is coming back after they hoisted the cup just a couple weeks ago.
Bulin will replace Ray Emery, who signed with the Flyers earlier on Friday. Interestingly enough he also returned to a team he played for in the past. However he might not be just handed the backup job, he might be pushed by rookie Antti Raanta who is coming state side from Finland.
After leaving Chicago, Bulin spent the past four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers. While his age, 40, might be a concern he has played in 52 games over the last 2 seasons and has a save percentage over 91% and GAA under 2.5. That's pretty good for a backup goaltender.
No financial details have been announced but I would expect him to make around $1.15 million, which is what Emery was getting this past season.
Bulin still has many friends on the team including Conn Smythe winner, Patrick Kane. Personally I look forward to seeing what he has left in the tank and what he can do with a good defense in front of him. That is something he hasn't had with the Oilers.
Are you ok with the return of Bulin? Sound off and let me know.