Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the Blackhawks have signed free agent defenseman Jaroslav Spacek to a one-year contract for $2.25 million.
"Spacek is a solid defenseman and is a very smart player," said Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon. "He was one of the top players on the Czech team in the last World Cup. He has an excellent shot from the point and will add to our club both defensively and offensively."
Spacek, 31, 5'11" and 206 pound defenseman was Florida's fifth choice, 117th overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He has appeared in 420 career regular season NHL games recording 39 goals and 123 assists for 162 points and 277 penalty minutes while skating the Florida Panthers, the Blackhawks and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Spacek has also appeared in four career playoff games.
Spacek will be in his second tour of duty in Chicago, as he was previously acquired by the Blackhawks from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Anders Eriksson on November 6, 2000. He would later be traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets along with a 2nd round pick (Dan Fritsche) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Blackhawks in exchange for Lyle Odelein on March 19, 2002.
Spacek played in 58 games for the Blue Jackets during the 2003-04 season, averaging nearly 24 minutes of ice-time per game while registering five goals, 17 assists for 22 points and 45 penalty minutes. Spacek's 22 points was second among Blue Jacket defensemen and tied for 11th on the team overall in scoring.
Spacek skated overseas last season (2004-05) splitting time between HC Lasselsberger Plzen and HC Slavia Praha both of the Czech Elite League (47 games, 7 goals, 17 assists, 24 points and 55 penalty minutes). With HC Lasselsberger Plzen, he appeared in 30 games recording 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists) and 26 penalty minutes. Spacek skated in 17 regular season games for HC Slavia Praha notching 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) and 29 penalty minutes and also played in seven playoff games recording two assists and eight penalty minutes.
Spacek represent the Czech Republic at two international competitions last season, appearing in four games at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and also skating in nine games at the 2005 World Championships recording one goal.