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Hawks offering Havlat one-year deal?
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 6/26/2009 12:00 AM

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Apparently one of the reasons why the Blackhawks and Martin Havlat haven't yet agreed on a new contract is the length of the deal.

According to a source, the Hawks' initial offer to Havlat was for a one-year contract. It's not known if the team has moved off that negotiating position.

Havlat likely would receive a multiyear deal should he reach unrestricted free agency on July 1.

Signing Havlat for just one year would assure the Hawks of having more money to spend next summer when Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane are up for new contracts.

Meanwhile, there was plenty of trade buzz in Montreal on Thursday ahead of today's NHL entry draft.

There was a rumor claiming the Hawks as being one of the many teams showing interest in Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle.

If the Hawks are interested in Kaberle, it would seem to lend strength to the speculation they are looking to deal defenseman Cam Barker.

Two of the more interesting rumors Thursday had the Columbus Blue Jackets trying to trade with the San Jose Sharks for center Joe Thornton.

At least two reports indicated the Florida Panthers were close to dealing the negotiating rights to defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who will be an unrestricted free agent next week.

The Vancouver Canucks are believed to be in serious talks with Florida about Bouwmeester in preparation for losing Mattias Ohlund to free agency.

Trades would spice up what is normally a dull two days of drafting.

Ottawa's Dany Heatley has asked for a trade, and it could happen this weekend with the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers among the clubs believed to be most interested.

Tampa Bay center Vincent Lecavalier also could be on the move, with the Montreal Canadiens looking desperate to make that trade happen. The Lightning has ownership issues, which could see Lecavalier dealt for financial reasons.

Unless the Hawks pull off a trade today, there won't be much intrigue involving them today during the first round of the draft.

The Hawks own the 28th pick, which won't occur until at least several hours into the 6 p.m. start of the draft.

The top of the draft shouldn't hold many surprises, with the New York Islanders set to pick London center John Tavares, a potential franchise center, first overall.

Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman, a 6-foot-6 potential Chris Pronger-type player, is expected to go second to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Colorado then should take Brampton center Matt Duchene third. After that, anything can happen.

"The first three picks have separated themselves," said Michael Oke, the chief scout for International Scouting Services. "Then, the next five to seven, everybody has a different opinion."

The first round today should be the coming-out party for Tavares, who has been touted as a potential top overall pick since he was 16.

"John is a special player," Oke said. "I don't think there's another kid in this draft who has played as much as he has the last two years. And every time he's been challenged, he's met the challenge."

Hawks general manager Dale Tallon maintains the Hawks will get a good player in the first round, a center, they hope, but it won't be anyone who can step in right away and challenge for a roster spot in the fall.

The Hawks will make six more picks Saturday in rounds 2-7.