Havlat returns to Ottawa ready to sign

Bruce Garrioch -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

TORONTO -- It appears Martin Havlat will be going from Czech to cheque. The Senators winger returned to Ottawa yesterday after the Czech Republic was eliminated from the World Cup on Saturday night and is expected to sign a new contract with Ottawa later this week.

As reported by the Sun yesterday, the 23-year-old is close to a one-year deal in the $2.3-million US range, but sources say there's still paperwork to be completed.

If there's an NHL lockout, the possibility still exists Havlat could play in Europe -- either in the Czech Republic or Switzerland -- but a contract with the Senators guarantees he will be in Ottawa once a new collective bargaining agreement is put in place.

LOOKING FOR HELP: Team Canada W Ryan Smyth said they'll be doing some scouting on Finnish G Miikka Kiprusoff before tomorrow's final at the Air Canada Centre. In fact, they're going to look to Jarome Iginla, a teammate of Kiprusoff's in Calgary, for some help. "Nobody knows him better because he practises against (Kiprusoff) all the time and I'm sure that he'll be supplying us with some tips," said Smyth. "We'll talk to the Tampa guys (Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards) as well because they obviously had success against him in the Stanley Cup final."

AROUND THE BOARDS: There's uncertainty as to whether D Anton Volchenkov will play with Binghamton of the AHL. He has also received an offer from the Moscow Dynamo ... Expect to see Panthers F Stephen Weiss suit up for the team's AHL affiliate in Louisville ... Some of Team Canada's players considered attending the final round of the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey yesterday, but decided against it.

bruce.garrrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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