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2010 NHL free agency: Blackhawks sign Ryan Potulny

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The Blackhawks aren’t done shopping just yet. Now with Cristobal Huet on his way to Switzerland to give the Hawks the cap relief they so desperately need, they’ve had room to add cost-effective players to the roster and tonight we find out that they very well may have landed a diamond in the rough. tipped us off tonight that the Hawks have signed Ryan Potulny to a one-year, two-way deal worth the league minimum $500,000.

Last season saw Potulny get his first real shot at the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers and in 65 games, he had 15 goals and 17 assists. Considering how bad the Oilers were last year and the kind of injury issues they had, Potulny had ample time to play and made the most of that opportunity. If his breakout season wasn’t a freak occurrence, the Blackhawks may have found another source of steady-ish offense. Given how loaded Chicago will be on their top two lines, finding more support for the third and fourth lines any way they can is a big deal.

Potulny signing for the league minimum, however, shows what kind of market it is out there for free agent players. That said, getting any kind of guaranteed contract is better than rolling the dice on a camp tryout.