Mark DuBiel is Khabibulin's lawyer in Arizona. He handled the matter that resulted in Friday's conviction and Tuesday's sentence on three counts in connection with Khabibulin's drunken driving arrest. DuBiel told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation his client was free to move about the continent.
In fact, DuBiel contends Khabibulin has not been convicted.
"He doesn't have a conviction right now because once you file a notice of appeal, the conviction is stayed," DuBiel told the Edmonton Journal. "The sentence is stayed."
That appears to contradict statements from Canadian immigration lawyer Wendy Danson to another Canadian television outlet, CTV, regarding the conviction.
"Under our immigration law, that makes him criminally inadmissible to Canada. And if he is not a Canadian citizen or not a permanent resident he's going to have some trouble coming back in," Danson told CTV.
Danson is based in Edmonton, where Khabibulin plays and would have to return for Sept. 17's start of training camp.
Once he arrives, Khabibulin will have some explaining to do—to his bosses, teammates, fans and, it appears, the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
"This raises the awareness—(drunken driving) happens every day," said Gillian Phillips, a spokeswoman with MADD Canada.
Plus, Khabibulin will likely hear from NHL discipline czar Colin Campbell or one of his minions. Other NHL players convicted of drunken driving have been suspended for violating the NHL's substance abuse policy.
Khabibulin injured no one but himself.
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