Free Agency: Thrashers Add Goalie Chris Mason And Winger Andrew Ladd

What should the Thrashers look for in the free agent market tomorrow, and what holes will need to be filled?

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Andrew Ladd Acquired For A Pick And A Prospect

The Thrashers now have four members of the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks after acquiring Andrew Ladd in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2011 NHL entry draft and Ivan Vishnevskiy. Vishnevskiy came over as the return for goaltender Kari Lehtonen when the goalie was traded to the Dallas Stars.

Ladd has the potential to be the 20-goal scorer that Dudley wanted to acquire. He averaged just under half a point a game last season (17 goals and 21 assists in 82 games played). Keep in mind that he is just 24 years old, so there’s a lot of room to grow for Ladd.

Ladd is also a restricted free agent and will need to be tendered a QO and signed before he can become a part of next season’s Thrashers squad.

For those keeping track, this means that the Thrashers have acquired Ladd, Chris Mason, Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, and Ben Eager. The only roster player lost has been Marty Reasoner.

Colby Armstrong signed a 3-year, $9 million contract today with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Johan Hedberg moved on to New Jersey for a $1.5 million contract with a no-movement clause. Considering that he’ll be playing behind Martin Brodeur, that should boil down to about $500,000 a game. Best of luck to both of the former Thrashers.

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Thrashers Sign Goaltender Chris Mason

Marking the end of the Johan Hedberg era in Atlanta, the Thrashers have signed UFA goaltender Chris Mason, late of the St. Louis Blues. Mason has a two-year contract worth $1.6 million and $2.1 million each year.

Player profile to be posted on Birdwatchers later – I have family business to attend to right now, but I will have full details. Word also is that Andrew Ladd has been acquired by the Thrashers pending trade call.

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