Home > NHL > Report: Byfuglien to Atlanta Thrashers in multiplayer trade

Report: Byfuglien to Atlanta Thrashers in multiplayer trade

It’s no secret that the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to free up some of their salary cap woes this summer, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’re handing over some of the goods to Atlanta since former Chicago Assistant GM Rick Dudley is now GM of the Thrashers.

Nothing is confirmed yet, but reports are coming down that the Chicago Blackhawks have traded Dustin Byfuglien to the Atlanta Thrashers as part of a huge multiplayer deal that’s leaving fans on both sides in shock and awe. Along with Big Buff, the ‘Hawks dished out defenseman Brent Sopel, winger Ben Eager, and prospect Akim Aliu. In return the Thrashers gave up veteran center Marty Reasoner, prospect Jeremy Morin, and New Jersey’s first-round (24th overall) and second-round (54th overall) picks.

Byfuglien will bring some much needed size and brawn to Thrashers, but Reasoner should be missed by the Thrashers faithful. He doesn’t make the headlines, but he’s extremely versatile, hard-working and was voted Players’ Player by the team at the end of the 2009-2010 season. Many Atlanta fans were hoping he would wear the C in the 2010-2011 season.

For a better look at the salary cap issues surrounding this trade, I’m going to defer to Puck Daddy.

Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke to Reasoner about the deal. The Thrashers forward had this to say:

You can’t beat going to a team that just won the Stanley Cup. I’m pretty excited…It’s always a little shocking to be traded, but we’ve been through it before…I would have liked to have stayed in Atlanta another year and help that team build, but it’s a new chapter. It will be exciting. You can tell from watching the playoffs that the Blackhawks have taken over the city…[My time in Atlanta] was good. I met a lot of great people. … I think you learn a lot about yourself when you are in different situations and I definitely learned a lot about myself there. I will always have fond memories. My daughter was born there. … You become part of the community even if it’s a short amount of time. But we signed up for this.

Thrashers defenseman Ron Hainsey said of the trade:

We added some great pieces today,” Hainsey said. “We hate to see Marty go but we got a lot back. We got a player who was a huge part of their playoff run, a veteran right-handed shooting defenseman. Another good player and a prospect. Those are some pretty big pieces.

Perhaps what’s on a lot of Thrashers fans’ minds right now is which Byfuglien is the team going to get? Dynamic, productive Stanley Cup champion Byfuglien or barely there Byfuglien?

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