Sunday, July 16, 2006

Havlat and Smolinski head to Chicago in three team deal

OTTAWA (CP) -- The Ottawa Senators finally traded Martin Havlat and the Chicago Blackhawks finally landed a star.The Senators sent forwards Havlat and Bryan Smolinski to the Blackhawks in a three-way deal also involving the San Jose Sharks, a source told the Canadian Press Sunday.Havlat agreed to a three-year deal with the Blackhawks after the trade. He was a restricted free agent and had refused to commit to the Senators for more than a year during negotiations, saying he wanted to test the free agent market.Chicago initially traded Mark Bell to the Sharks for Tom Preissing and Josh Hennessy, who were flipped to the Senators along with prospect Michal Barinka and a 2008 second-round draft pick.The 25-year-old Havlat has 235 points in 298 career games, all with the Senators.Ottawa had been working on dealing him for weeks before working out this deal with Chicago.Likewise, the Blackhawks tried hard to land a star when the free agent signing frenzy began July 1, but failed to do so. The only player the team brought in was goalie Patrick Lalime, expected to back up Nikolai Khabibulin.