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Havlat Article by CP

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08-31-2006, 12:25 PM
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Havlat Article by CP

Pierre Lebrun of Canadian Press has an article out today in the Globeand Mail /Ottawa Citizen and a few other papers.

It is basically saying Havlat didnt have the chance to be the top line guy in Ottawa that he is expected to be in Chicago.This is some of what he said.

Martin Havlat never got the chance to be a first-line player in his five seasons with the Ottawa Senators, a team so deep in talent even a skilled winger of his magnitude found himself on the second or third line.

Not anymore. The 25-year-old Czech native will be the go-to guy this season in Chicago, which stands to reason since the Blackhawks gave him top-line money.

"The challenge is going to be great. It's going to be something new," Havlat said this week from Montreal, his off-season home. "I'll have a different role than I had in Ottawa."

"He's going to be our main guy," Hawks GM Dale Tallon said Wednesday from Chicago. "We're excited about it. It's the type of player that we've been lacking for a lot of years. We haven't had a game-breaker like this in a long time, not too mention his charisma and personality

"I'm sure there are a lot of people that say we paid too much," said Tallon. "But there were other teams in the mix, too, there was competition for him. We know we paid a lot but we think we're getting value for it. We had to do something, we have to get interest back in the game here.""We'll be a faster team this year then they were last year," said Havlat, a comment echoed by Tallon.

Tallon says Havlat will likely play on the top line with Handzus at centre and Tuomo Ruutu on the left."I just want to be on the ice as much as I can because I think that's how I can help the team, when I'm out there not if I'm sitting on the bench," said Havlat. "I hope I'm going to be on the ice a lot in Chicago."

Chicago, one of the world's great cities, wasn't a tough sell.

"That city is a little different than Ottawa. It's a little bit bigger," said Havlat. "There's a lot of things to do, a lot of great restaurants. And it's a sports city, baseball, basketball, football. But people love their hockey and want us to win."

Havlat will head to Ottawa later this week and clean out his apartment and arrange for his furniture and personal things to find their way to Chicago, where he'll head Sept. 7. That's when it's really going to hit him, Havlat said, that he's no longer a Senator.

"I don't think I've realized it yet fully once I go there next week and skate with the guys, that's when
it'll totally sink in," he said.
His only regret leaving Ottawa is the obvious, not winning a championship with all those great teamsin the league but just couldn't get into the final.
"We had great, great teams there and had great players. The fans were great. I was really fortunate to start my career over there. I'm happy for those six years in Ottawa, it was just missing a trip to the final."

Note: Ruutu, a restricted free agent, remains unsigned but Tallon was confident on that front. "We talked yesterday, we've been talking almost every day. We'll get something done here soon enough," said Tallon.

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