Blackhawks trade Kopecky's rights to Florida, qualify three

Stan Bowman and Dale Tallon must be besties.  For the third time in the last two seasons, the Blackhawks have made a trade with the Florida Panthers.

The Blackhawks traded the negotiating rights to Tomas Kopecky to Tallon and the Panthers for a conditional 7th round draft pick.  The Blackhawks were going to let Kopecky walk July 1st, so this trade is a no brainer.  The Panthers want Kopecky, and found it worth the 7th rounder to have exclusive negotiating rights until Friday. 

In other news, the Blackhawks qualified three of their four restricted free agents.  Receiving offers were Viktor Stalberg, Chris Campoli, and Michael Frolik.  It's expected that all three will sign the offers and return to the club.  Jake Dowell was not qualified, and will become an unrestricted free agent Friday.

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Tomas Kopecky, and likely Jake Dowell, will have new addresses when the 2011-12 season begins.

Free agency begins this Friday, and with these guys locked up, they have approximately 5 spots to fill with about $10 million to do so.  More concrete numbers will come out once the deals are announced. 

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