SUN Hockey Pool

Khabby in jail: Day one

Oilers goaltaneder Nikolai Khabibulin, left, walks into the Maricopa County Sheriff's Tent City in...

Oilers goaltaneder Nikolai Khabibulin, left, walks into the Maricopa County Sheriff's Tent City in Phoenix, Ariz., July 30, 2011. (RICK SCUTERI/QMI Agency)

MICHELLE THOMPSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:57 AM ET

PHOENIX - Sporting a white T-shirt and blue shorts, Edmonton Oilers’ goalie Nikolai Khabibulin spent his first day in Tent City relaxing on a bunker, reading the Da Vinci Code.

Surrounded by soft criminals — his section contains mostly fellow DUI convicts — Khabibulin kept a low profile during his inaugural visit to the infamous Arizona jail.

The 38-year-old netminder arrived at the Maricopa County jail shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday to self-surrender.

He’s ready to accept the sentence the courts handed him, said lawyer Mark DuBiel.

“I know he wasn’t doing cartwheels this morning to come to jail, but this is part of the deal,” DuBiel said outside jail.

“He knows when he withdrew the appeal, this was waiting for him.”

Khabibulin is serving a 30-day sentence for extreme DUI.

The charge stemmed from a Feb. 8, 2010, incident in which Scottsdale police reportedly clocked the Ukraine native doing 70 mph in a 40 mph zone.

A test showed his blood alcohol content was in the “extreme” category at the time, which has a range of .15 to .199.

Khabibulin will have served a work-release, which means inmates stay at Tent City for the first two days, before being allowed out on a 12-hour day pass during weekdays.

He had initially planned to appeal the sentence, but opted against it.

“To him, this was a no-brainer,” DuBiel said.

“He wants to get this behind him. He accepts what he did was wrong and this is part of the sentence.”

He dropped the appeal in order to finish his sentence before hockey season starts back up.

“Based on the timing — it kept getting delayed, and delayed and delayed — he felt it was best to move forward because training camp was coming up quite soon.”

“He just wanted to get this over with.”

Khabibulin declined to speak with media.

But a sheriff who oversaw his booking process described the goalie as “cordial” and friendly.

After being checked by nurses, Khabibulin was released into Tent City by lunchtime, where he was assigned to a bottom bed inside Tent 55.

He was seen there relaxing in the shade, and reading from Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

In Tent City, Khabibulin is without a cell phone, and had to cap his wallet contents at $40.

He’ll be able to spend that money on things like vending machine snacks.

He’s on work-release, which means after spending the weekend in Tent City, he can check out for 12-hour periods during the week.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio — notorious for his tough-on-crime antics — oversees the Tent City jailhouse where Khabibulin will serve the first half of his sentence.

He’ll serve the second half under house arrest.

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Other famous folk to visit Maricopa County Jail

Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is far from the first celebrity to do time at the Maricopa County jail. Here are some others who’ve also made appearances there.

Mike Tyson

The former boxer served a one-day drunk driving conviction at Tent City on Nov. 21, 2007. Guards said he signed autographs for fellow inmates while there.

DMX

After being convicted of drug and fraud charges, rapper DMX served 90 days in Tent City in 2009. He was released May 15 of that year.

Charles Barkley

Barkley, considered one of the greatest basketball players in history, spent three days in Tent City for drunk driving back in 2009.


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