SUN Hockey Pool

Someone loves Edmonton!

DEREK VAN DIEST

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Nikolai Khabibulin had few reservations about coming to play in Edmonton, unlike someone else the Oilers happen to be pursuing.

The veteran goaltender jumped all over a four-year deal presented by the hockey club on Wednesday, just a few hours into the start of free agency.

"I never had problems with coming to Edmonton, I think it's a great hockey city," he said. "They've had something like 120 consecutive sellouts. So when you play, you want to play in a full building. I remember when I would come here with Chicago or Phoenix, it was always a full building, it was always loud and always exciting.

"I remember from my days in Winnipeg, playing in a city where everything is hockey -- the fans are really passionate and it's always very exciting. I think it's going to be a lot of fun."

Despite backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks to the Western Conference final, outplaying Miikka Kiprusoff and Roberto Luongo along the way, Khabibulin was not offered a long-term deal to stay in the Windy City.

The Oilers, meanwhile, were in the market for a starting goaltender after Dwayne Roloson accepted a two-year offer from the New York Islanders.

"We had some discussions in Chicago, we had a couple of one-year offers," Khabibulin said. "But when the one came from the Oilers, it was a pretty easy decision to make, especially going to a Canadian city, it's something that's very exciting. I was fortunate that the team that committed to me long-term was also a pretty good team."


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