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Report: Chicago Blackhawks allegedly sign Marty Turco; Is Antti Niemi on the way out?

Aug 1, 2010, 11:25 PM EDT

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for depressedturco.jpgIt’s pretty late so there might not be an official announcement – or even other media confirmations – but at least one report from The Fourth Period indicates that the Chicago Blackhawks signed erstwhile free agent goalie Marty Turco to a one-year contract worth $1.75 million.

Again, please note that this is a report and not an official announcement. Apparently word originally came from Chicago-based WGN Radio.

If that report is accurate, then it’s pretty safe to say that the team will either walk away from Antti Niemi’s salary arbitration decision or trade that one year, $2.75 million contract to another team. Again, that’s not a guarantee; as The Fourth Period notes there hasn’t been an official decision made regarding Niemi or Cristobal Huet just yet. This is just a common sense-based viewpoint.

It’s pretty safe to say that Huet’s out of the picture, too, though. CapGeek lists the Blackhawks’ roster as $400K over with only 17 players signed to contracts right now and that’s before the $1.75 million reportedly going Turco’s way would make it more than $2 million. By clearing out Huet’s massive $5.6 million cap hit by either sending him to the KHL or AHL, the Blackhawks would then have a solid amount of space to fill out their roster with minimum wage players.

Naturally, we’ll keep you up to date as news breaks on this big story. We might not hear any official word either way tonight (or at least not until even the most vampiric among us go to sleep) but we’ll let you know more as information trickles in.

Still, if this report is correct, Turco and the Blackhawks could make for a very interesting – and potentially dysfunctional – combination in Chicago. (After all, some of his worst moments actually came at the able hands of the Blackhawks). Stay tuned.

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