Chicago Blackhawks: How Will They Spend Cristobal Huet's $5.6 Million?

Michael Gibbons@DachicagofanCorrespondent IIMay 26, 2012

CHICAGO - MAY 01: Cristobal Huet #39 of the Chicago Blackhawks knocks the puck away against the Vancouver Canucks in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center on May 1, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Canucks defeated the Blackhawks 5-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The day has finally come. The Chicago Blackhawks don't owe Cristobal Huet any more money.

Huet was signed on the first day of free agency in 2008. His four-year deal was worth $22.4 million and, along with the contract given to Brian Campbell, was a sign the Blackhawks wanted to win again.

Unfortunately for Huet, his stay in Chicago lasted only two seasons. He has spent the last two years on loan to HC Fribourg-Gotteron SA of the Swiss National League A. The reason for this move was to relieve salary cap issues.

Huet was carrying a $5.6 million cap hit. That is a lot for a guy who ended up being a backup goaltender. He was beat out by Nikolai Khabibulin in his first year and Antti Niemi is his second year with the team.

While not great, he wasn't ever truly bad. During his two seasons he went 46-29-8 with a goals allowed average right around 2.50. Those are pretty comparable numbers to Corey Crawford.

Crawford is 63-35-13 with a 2.51 goals allowed average in the past two seasons. 

Now that he is gone, the Hawks find themselves with some money to spend. While his salary was no longer counting against the cap, it was still money being spent.

What that means is instead of paying out about $10 million to guys not on the NHL roster, they only are paying out around $4 million. Alexander Salak and Rostislav Olesz are the two guys in the minors being paid NHL contracts at the moment.

The Blackhawks currently have 20 players under contract and have a little more then $6 million in cap space. Would that be enough to lure Ryan Suter or Shea Weber from Nashville?

It's possible. Either would look great protecting the blue line for the Blackhawks.

What do you think Hawks fans? How should the Hawks spend their money this offseason? Sound off below.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @dachicagofan and check out my weekly Hawks' podcast every Friday on my site The MG Experience.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.