Nikolai Khabibulin's NHL career could be over.
And, as you might expect with his recent history of ailments, the end might have come due to an injury.
The 40-year-old Chicago Blackhawks goaltender had surgery Tuesday to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder and is expected to be out for 4-5 months.
"He had a rotator cuff injury which was becoming increasingly symptomatic that we repaired," Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement released by the Blackhawks. "The procedure went very well and I anticipate a full recovery."
Khabibulin, who has been limited to just four games with the Blackhawks this season, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer. But after playing in just 56 games over the last three seasons -- two with the Edmonton Oilers -- it's unlikely there will be much of a market for the four-time all-star and he could be forced to sign with a KHL team if he wants to keep playing.
This season, Khabibulin is 1-0-1 with a 5.00 goals-against average and .811 save percentage. He last played Nov. 16 against the Nashville Predators due to a groin injury.
COUTURE HAVING SURGERY
San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture, a surprise ommission from the Canadian Olympic team, will have surgery Wednesday to correct an "upper-body injury," the team said Tuesday.
The surgery, believed to be to his hand, could keep him out of the lineup for four weeks, according to CSN Bay Area.
"For the past several weeks, Logan has been dealing and playing with an upper-body injury," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. "Despite his efforts to play through it, the injury has not responded as we had hoped and Logan has made the decision to undergo a surgical procedure to repair the problem.
"While the timing of the procedure is not ideal, Logan feels it is in his and the team's best interest to get the problem rectified now."
Wilson said the team will have a better handle on Couture's expected recovery time after the surgery is done.
Couture has 14 goals and 20 assists in 43 games this season.
HOW HURT IS LUONGO?
Even though he was named to the Canadian Olympic team Tuesday, Roberto Luongo 's injury status remains up in the air.
The Vancouver Canucks goalie, named to the team along with fellow netminders Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes, was forbidden from talking about his ankle injury during a media session Tuesday. He had a MRI done Monday on the injury, which occurred Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings, but the Canucks haven't issued any updates on how serious the problem is or how long he's expected to be out.
"At the end of the day my main goal is to get healthy and play for the Canucks, so that's what I am worried about right now," Luongo said.
Luongo's injury does not appear serious -- reports Monday indicated he'd be out 1-2 weeks -- but the Olympian is still waiting to hear from a specialist.
GALCHENYUK BREAKS HAND
Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk will miss six weeks with a broken hand, the team announced Tuesday.
Galchenyuk broke his hand Monday against the Florida Panthers. He played through the injury and finished the game, a 2-1 win for the Habs.
Good news for the Canadiens is Galchenyuk's recovery time will include the Olympic break -- the NHL will shut down Feb. 9-25 -- so the 19-year-old won't miss as many games as would under a normal schedule. He wasn't named to the U.S. team for the Sochi Olympics.
In 44 games this season, Galchenyuk has 10 goals and 13 assists.
The Minnesota Wild sent defenceman Matt Dumba back to junior Tuesday.
Dumba, who played for Canada at the world junior championship, was sent to the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL for the remainder of the season. Dumba's rights were traded from the Red Deer Rebels to Portland last month.
"We're excited to add a player of Mathew's calibre to our roster as we enter the second half of the season," Winterhawks general manager and head coach Mike Johnston said. "He has proven to be an elite player at this level, and the experience he's gained in the NHL and the world junior championship will be tremendously valuable for us."
Dumba, drafted seventh overall by the Wild in 2012, had one goal and two assists in 13 games with Minnesota before being loaned to the Canadian junior team.
The Colorado Avalanche signed defenceman Nate Guenin to a two-year, $1.6 million contract extension, according to the Denver Post. A 31-year-old journeyman who played just 32 NHL games before this season, Guenin has no goals and four assists with the Avs ... Injured Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen could return to the lineup later this week. Franzen, out since Dec. 15 with a concussion, has been cleared to practice and is expected to join the Red Wings in Phoenix ... The Sabres-Hurricanes game scheduled for Tuesday in Buffalo was postposed due to "hazardous weather conditions" in the area, the league said. No makeup date was announced.