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Blackhawks looking to move Khabibulin

Darren Dreger
8/28/2008 8:56:11 PM
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The Chicago Blackhawks believe 98 points is an attainable target this season.

The Hawks intend to stay young guided by star forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and a powerplay that will be predictably better with Brian Campbell anchoring the attack.

Chicago is in the market for a top left winger, however like so many other teams the Blackhawks deal-making is being held up by the waiting game surrounding Mats Sundin.

Chicago has assets general manager Dale Tallon would consider trading and veteran goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin is at the the top of the list.

Khabibulin has informed the Blackhawks he wants to play 60 games this season, and with newly signed Cristobal Huet soon to make his debut, that's unlikely to happen.

Also unlikely is a team willing to give up more than a draft pick or a prospect for Khabibulin who has one year left at $6.75 million.

Tallon isn't desperate to move Khabibulin, but he is eager, and will patiently wait to see if an injury pops up around the league that may heighten interest.

The L.A. Kings are an obvious target based on a need for a goaltender, plus Khabibulin's salary would help the Kings move closer to the floor of the NHL's salary cap.

If no deal surfaces, Chicago who will soon have cap issues of their own and may have to place the former Stanley Cup champ on waivers. If he clears, Chicago would have the option to remove his cap hit by sending him to the American League, or they could recall him allowing another team to claim him at half the cost, leaving the Blackhawks on the hook for just over $3.3 million.

The renovations continue in Chicago and it appears the "Bulin Wall" will soon be moved.

For TSN.ca, I"m Darren Dreger.

Darren Dreger

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