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Deadline Looming On Handzus Deal

by Adam Kempenaar / Chicago Blackhawks

The long wait to see if center Michal Handzus will be back in a Blackhawks sweater could be over by Tuesday morning.

Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon said Monday that an offer was on the table to Handzus and that the club had requested a decision by the end of the day today. While Handzus and his agent deliberate, Tallon and his staff will continue to work the phones to try to land a #1 center.

Tallon bolstered his team's presence up the middle Sunday with the acquisition of free agent center Yanic Perreault, who had 21 goals last season with Phoenix and Toronto. Perreault should also be a key contributor on the power play, especially on face-offs.

"We've got some strength at center now, but we're still looking for that top guy," Tallon said.

Acquired last off-season in a trade with Philadelphia, Handzus missed the bulk of the 2006-07 campaign after tearing his ACL. Centering a line with winger Martin Havlat, Handzus began the season strong, recording three goals and five assists in eight games.

Joing Perreault and possibily Handzus in the mix at center would be 2006 1st round pick Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp, plus Jason Williams and Tuomo Ruutu, who can play center or wing.

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