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25 February 2007

Thrashers hope Tkachuk and Zhitnik are the solution

The Atlanta Thrashers hope their slump will soon be over and that the acquisition of highly-sought star forward Keith Tkachuk was worth the price they paid to acquire him.
The trade was reported early this morning, with reports coming from TSN's Darren Dreger, Paul Kukkla and Eklund.

Tkachuk, who is eligible for unrestricted free-agency in the offseason has notched 43 points (20 goals, 23 assists) in 61 games with St. Louis this season and was their second-leading scorer (behind Bill Guerin) at the time of the trade.

The Thrashers gave up surprising forward Glen Metropolit, whom after a slow start, finally put up decent numbers with the Thrashers, a first and third round pick in this year's draft and a secound rounder in 2008 for Tkachuk.

Mind you, the second rounder in '08 will only be valid if Tkachuk re-signs with the Thrashers this offseason.

Atlanta's current trading spree is disturbing me.
These trades seem like a "quick-fix".
It's true the Thrashers have lost ground in their playoff run; recently dropping out of the division leading spot to 6th in the Eastern Conference and if things keep up, in danger of falling out of the franchise's potential first playoff run ever.

First they give up young defenceman Braydon Coburn to get the aging Alexei Zhitnik from the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday.
Coburn had not developped as fast as Atlanta would have hoped, however, he is still young and there is no reason to doubt him emerging in Philly.

It is the second time Zhitnik has been traded this season (from New York to Philadelphia; from Philadelphia to Atlanta). On top of it all, they sacrifice 3 major picks for the next two seasons in hope a declining but "he's still got it" overweight man in Keith Tkachuk can lift the team out if it's current funk.

If Zhitnik and Tkachuk don't pan out, look for Don Waddell endure a series of hangovers, and, to seem professional, he commented well on the situation:

“The first deal, truthfully, we really needed a defenceman and I really wanted to get that done,” Waddell told The Canadian Press. “Then I knew what I had in terms of assets to put a package together for Keith. I called (Blues GM) Larry Pleau after I was done the Philly deal and we started talking even more and more late into the night about getting this deal done.”
Tkachuk fills the No. 1 need for Atlanta since training camp began: a No. 1 centre.
“He’s a top-line guy,” said Waddell. “He brings competitiveness to our team, he plays with grit. And our intention right off the bat is to play him with (Ilya) Kovalchuk. We think they can make things happen.”

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge...

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