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Free Agency Farewell, Blackhawks Edition

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 2, 2009 3:40PM


The Bulls weren't the only team bidding farewell to free agents. The Blackhawks joined the club, as two key players from this past season's playoff run have flown the United Center coop to other destinations.

First, goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is Edmonton-bound after parting ways with the Blackhawks. The Bulin Wall signed a four years, $15 million deal with the Oilers. Khabibulin, who won a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004, split time in goal this season with Cristobal Huet, going 25-8-7 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.

Next, with yesterday's signing of Marian Hossa, it seems inevitable that Martin Havlat would part. And part he did, going to the Minnesota Wild, signing a six-year, $30 million deal. But things aren't so cheery from Havlat's point of view. On June 23rd, Havlat tweeted, "Everyone should know I am only thinking about signing with Chicago. It's where I want to be." After yesterday's deals, though, things aren't so rosy. Havlat then tweeted, "Excited to be in Minny where I was welcomed and appreciated by management. The real story about what happened in Chicago to come out." Of course, he added, "Thanks to all Hawks fans for your love and support over the last 3 years. Will never forget your generousity [sic] and the great playoff run!"

Also leaving the team for other waters were center Sammy Pahlsson, heading to Columbus, and defenseman Matt Walker, who signed with Tampa Bay.