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Thrashers Make Huge Trade With Blackhawks

According to sources, the Thrashers have sent Marty Reasoner, Jeremy Morin, and New Jersey's first and second round picks to Chicago for Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Brent Sopel. The deal is still awaiting approval from the commissioner's office. Some early reactions, from the Thrasher's blog Bird Watcher's Anonymous:

My initial reaction is disappointment frankly. I wanted to see the Thrashers land Patrick Sharp, not the players headed Atlanta’s way. Byfuglien is a defenseman converted to forwards who has been rather inconsistent so far as a forward. He had a terrific playoffs and the Hawks sold him high. Eager is a checking line player who already makes $1 million. Sopel is an overpaid second/third pairing defenseman with just one year left before he is a free agent. Akim Aliu is a physical checking forward who had issues in junior hockey.

So the Thrashers just added a second line winger, three checkers and a bottom half defenseman and a bunch of salary for a first rounder, second rounder, prospect taken in the second round (Morin) and a solid veteran and potential team captain (Reasoner). At the moment I’m underwhelmed and hope these guys look better in a Thrashers uniform than they do on paper.

This was a cap-driven trade by Chicago, and a trade that Atlanta likely felt they had to make to get players now instead of building through the draft with prospects.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.