Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Icing at the Chicago Tribune,- A fan question…
“The idea of a $12 million goaltender tandem is hard to believe. Publicly, the Hawks say they’re going to stick with both, but I think this is posturing until a deal is in place. What do you think?”
Having two top goalies is a luxury, indeed, and puts the Hawks over the salary cap, but general manager Dale Tallon seems sincere in keeping both. He firmly believes that to win in the NHL you need great goaltending. With Nikolai Khabibulin’s contract up following the season it will pave the way for Huet to take over the No. 1 job in 2009-10 and at less than Khabibulin’s salary. I have no doubt Tallon would trade Khabibulin if the right deal comes around. Certainly at the trade deadline in February,
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times, ‘
‘Huet was the No. 1 goaltender in this [free-agent market],’’ Tallon said. ‘‘We like Nik, but we wanted to make sure we were good in the net. Khabby’s contract is up at the end of the year, and we’ve got a lot of young goalies who aren’t ready yet.’‘
That’s not the stance Tallon took after last season, when he declared that Corey Crawford ‘‘deserves a shot’’ after two good seasons in the minors. And Finland’s Antti Niemi came with rave reviews when Tallon signed him in the offseason.
More to the point, the Hawks probably couldn’t find a taker for the last $6.75 million on Khabibulin’s contract. They might find one as the season winds down, though, and by then Huet will be the solid starter and either Crawford or Niemi the up-and-coming backup.
From Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News,
There must be a second part to this move.
The Chicago Blackhawks signed goaltender Cristobal Huet to a deal worth $5.625 million per season for four years, THN has learned.
Now, the Hawks still have No. 1 goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on the books for a very cap-unfriendly $6.75 million next year, so something’s gotta give here.
Not only do the Hawks now have quite a lot of cash tied up in goaltenders, but the funny thing about that position is you can only have one on the ice at any given time and most starting netminders tend to want to be out there as much as possible.
On TSN about 15 minutes ago, Darren Pang reported that in his conversation with GM Dale Tallon today, Tallon claimed they would be carrying both goalies into next season. To add intrigue, Bob McKenzie also mentions that Tampa goalie Mike Smith—who just signed an extension earlier today—might now be shopped.
From RDS (French) Brian Campbell is said to have signed with the Blackhawks.
Bob McKenzie on TSN states that the deal is still being finalized.
Note: RDS was originally reporting it’s for 8 years, $7.1 million per. That information is uncertain.
TSN breaking news, link not yet available:
Cristobal Huet has signed with Chicago. Details to follow.
And Capitals Insider notes…
just heard from a source that Huet asked the Caps for three years, $15 million and the Caps offered it to him. But Huet told them he wanted test the market today and see what might be out there. Now it’s looking like he’ll sign a four year deal with Chicago for $5.6 million per.
From Michael Russo at Russo’s Rants in the Star-Tribune, a rather vague report:
A player just told me Atlanta offered Brian Campbell a contract worth $60 million. Not sure of years, but I think seven.
Make of that what you will.
Update 2:10pm ET: Bruce Garrioch throws the Blackhawks into the mix:
Campbell to Chicago?
That’s the talk. The hawks are being aggressive and are moving towards a deal.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
If the rumor mill is any indication, the one team I’d keep a close eye on is the Chicago Blackhawks. GM Dale Tallon has somewhere in the area of $13 million to spend and I fully expect him to come away with one of the higher-end, puck-moving defensemen (Brian Campbell, Wade Redden, Mark Streit or Michal Rozsival) over the course of the next 24-48 hours.
One of the more intriguing side plots I’ll be watching is the level of interest in two players – Todd Bertuzzi and Ray Emery – whose less-than-ideal reputations precede them in a major way.
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
“We’re going to go after the best players,” Tallon said Monday. “If we get the right players, we’re a lot closer to being a complete team. We’re going to give it our best shot.”
Tallon said “a lot of money will be spent” around the NHL. He’s most interested in acquiring a standout defenseman. That could lead the Hawks to Brian Campbell, the top blueliner available.
NHL.com provides a a selection of articles rounding up all the latest happenings in the Central Division. Articles posted today include:
“Davidson Sees the Blues Making Strides” by Mike G. Morreale
“Blackhawks a Team on the Rise” by Brian Compton
“Jackets Still Seeking Elusive Playoff Berth” by Mike G. Morreale
“Wings Dominated en Route to Stanley Cup” by Brian Compton
“Despite Ouster, Reasons for Preds to be Proud” by Mike G. Morreale
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The thought of pulling on a Senators jersey again is exciting to Patrick Lalime.
“I would love to go back, for sure,” he said yesterday. “It’s a very nice place to play, they always have a very good team.
“I had a great time there and I would love to go back.”
The thought of signing the top goalie in franchise history is enticing to Senators GM Bryan Murray, who needs an affordable backup plan and is currently in the process of redecorating the dressing room with character individuals.
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