Here's your open thread as the NHL free agency period begins today. It officially begins at 12 PM EST. I'll be live-blogging as well with any updates on Hawks signings or rumors that I hear about, as well as signings by other teams.
11:00 AM CST: Free agency is now open! Should be interesting.
11:07 AM CST: First signing of the day! However it's just Brad Stuart re-upping with the Red Wings, 4 years, $3.75 million a year.
11:12 AM CST: Whoa, I didn't see this. Rene Bourque gone to the Flames in exchange for a 2nd round pick. I like it, Dale. Making room for a possible forward acquisition, I hope.
11:20 AM CST: Apparently the Oilers have traded Joni Pitkanen to the Hurricanes for Erik Cole.
11:45 AM CST: Rumor that Marian Hossa is an Oiler? Sure hope not.
11:49 AM CST: Ex-Hawk Radim Vrbata signs with the Lightning, 3 year deal.
12:01 PM CST: Been an hour of free agency, not much going on yet. Haven't really heard the Hawks involved in any rumors yet today.
12:07 PM CST: Curtis Joseph back to Toronto. Yawn.
12:11 PM CST: I don't know how reliable this site is, but:
The Chicago Blackhawks are in heated talks with Brian Campbell. The club has also spoken with Redden, but may use him as a backup plan if their attempts to land Campbell fail.
12:34 PM CST: Some central division activity: Predators trade Marek Zidlicky to the Wild in exchange for Ryan Jones and a 2nd round pick.
1:35 PM CST: We're about two and a half hours into free agency, still nothing to report for the Hawks. I just heard that someone offered $10 million a year to 37 year old Mats Sundin, however. Yikes.
1:44 PM CST: From Eklund (so maybe take it with a grain of salt):
According to a Source the asking price for Brian Campbell is beyond 70 million bucks. Teams with less than 70 need not apply. Also, Blackhawks in on Campbell (e3)
2:26 PM CST: Just read on a rumor on HockeyBuzz.com saying that Cristobal Huet may be close to signing with the Blackhawks...a starting goaltender possibly signed? Could this mean Khabibulin is out? Getting interesting now.
2:37 PM CST: Got a link to the Huet rumor, and this guy is making it sound like it's official:
Update: I just heard from a source that Huet asked the Caps for three years, $15 million and the Caps offered it to him. But Huet then said 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.
If this is true and he signs a deal like that, then Khabibulin is definitely on his way out.
2:45 PM CST: Looks like it is a done deal:
Cristobal Huet has signed with Chicago. Details to follow.
2:48 PM CST: TSN:
The Chicago Blackhawks have signed goaltender Cristobal Huet to a contract.
Huet, 32, finished with a 32-14-6 record and 2.32 goals-against average this season with a .920 save percentage between Washington and Montreal.
At first look, I like this signing. Huet is a good young goaltender and it looks like he is now our new starter, but there has to be more moves coming. A trade of Khabibulin must be imminent, and I gotta think it's an effort to free up money for a signing as well. Stay tuned.
2:58 PM CST: Sportsnet reports that Huet's deal is for 4 years, $5.625 million. Not bad, he comes about a million cheaper than Khabibulin. I think I'd have to say I'm a big fan of this deal at this point, but I'm wondering what else Dale is up to right now.
3:42 PM CST: From The Fourth Period:
4:22pm ET - Word is Hawks close to trading Nikolai Khabibulin to Kings, meanwhile Kings already got Denis Gauthier from Philly.
Yep, LA is supposed to be in the market for a goaltender. Should be interesting to see if they can get a deal done and who might be coming back our way.
3:53 PM CST: Patrick Lalime has signed with Buffalo for 2 years. Thanks for the memories, Patty.
4:07 PM CST: An update on Campbell from HockeyBuzz.com:
Campbell offer matched by Hawks
"Per Strickland: Atlanta's Offer of 8.5 per Campbell is being matched by Chicago" -Andy Strickland
Wow. I want Campbell here, but that is quite a large sum of money to give him. We'll see how this pans out.
4:38 PM CST: Two things from Eklund. First:
Campbell to Hawks (almost done) (E1) "To chicago" - Eklund
Ek's note: I believe this means that Khabibulin is coming back to Tampa"
Not sure why he attached this to a blurb about Sakic, but it's news any way.
4:46 PM CST: Brian Campbell is a Blackhawk! 8 years, $56.8 million! Wow!
4:52 PM CST: Now, apparently Dale Tallon says he is hanging on to Khabibulin and "they make a great duo." Huh?
5:18 PM CST: Official site now has the news of the Huet and Campbell signings.