A day after locking in starting goaltender Corey Crawford for three seasons, the Chicago Blackhawks have addressed their backup at the position.
The Hawks reportedly signed prospect Alexander Salak, whom they acquired from the Florida Panthers along with Michael Frokik in a trade for Jack Skille and prospects Feb. 9, to a two-year, one-way contract Friday, according to ESPNChicago.com.
Salak, 24, appeared in two games with the Panthers in 2009 before being loaned to Färjestad BK of the Swedish Elite League for the 2010-11 season where he appeared in 32 games and posted a 1.97 goals-against average and .926 save percentage.
"Alex is a guy who is going to be in North America next year," Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said Thursday. "He's got a very bright future."
The one-way deal, worth about $600,000 per season according to ESPNChicago.com, puts Salak squarely in the mix for the backup job to Corey Crawford, who signed a three-year, $8 million contract Thursday. Veteran unrestricted free agent Marty Turco isn't expected to return to the Hawks after losing his starting job to Crawford last season and Salak could be his replacement.
"(Turco) was a great Blackhawk for us this year," Bowman said. "He came in early on when we needed (and) he played some big games for us. As the year went on he wasn't playing as much. He waS still a great Blackhawk. I think he proved to be a good mentor for Corey. We appreciate everything he did this year in a difficult circumstance for him and he handled it like a pro."
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