Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Chicago deals Byfuglien, others to Atlanta for picks and prospects

The Chicago Blackhawks lowered their payroll significantly today, trading Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers for the #24 overall pick (originally New Jersey’s), the 54th overall pick, Marty Reasoner and Jeremy Morin.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Talk, NHL Entry Draft, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, chicago+blackhawks, nhl-hockey

Comments

Ajax19's avatar

I think this is a very good deal for Chicago.

Reasoner helps with the depth. Additional first and second round picks will just help Chicago’s depth going forward and, if they draft well, will give them young, cheap talent going forward.  Jeremy Morin doesn’t look too bad either with 80+ points in the OHL last year and a 2nd team All-Star.

Sopel was making far too much money as a 5th defensemen and was the most obvious candidate to be moved (of those who could reaslistically be dealt, i.e., not Huet or Campbell).  Eager isn’t that hard to replace.  Obviously, Byfuglien is the main piece here.  He was clutch in the playoffs after a very blah regular season, so his value wasn’t likely to be any higher.

This shaves just under $4 million off Chicago’s cap, taking into account the $5.3 million in combined salary for Byfuglien/Sopel and the $1.5 million Reasoner makes.  I don’t think this move alone gets Chicago home, but it’s a pretty promising start.

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/23/10 at 07:05 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Oops.  Sorry, that’s just over $4 million, since Reasoner’s cap hit is only $1.15 million, not $1.5 million.

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/23/10 at 07:07 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

From what I’m figuring (assuming Morin even makes the club… or another winger with a cap hit around $900K), this gives Chicago rougly $4.7M with 14 players signed.

They need a goalie, 3 defensemen, and 5 forwards (although they could carry fewer).

It’s a good move for both teams, depending on how Byfuglien handles Atlanta, but Chicago will still need to make another mid-level move.

I’m figuring that dumping Huet (AHL or otherwise) will give them enough space to pay for Niemi and his backup with some dollars left over.  They’re likely to lose short-term depth on the third defensive pair and the depth wingers.  They’ll still be dangerous next season, but will have lots less margin for error/injury.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/23/10 at 07:11 PM ET

german_wing's avatar

wow *stunned*

really thought the ‘hawks would trade buff (like ajax said, his value wasn’t going to be higher than right now), but sopel and eager included in that package makes it a huge deal.

yea, chicago might get something decent out of those picks ... and i really hope that this move improves atlanta as a team. it’s about time they deserved that.

uuuh, buff in the east. now THAT is going to be fun for sure.

Posted by german_wing from Toronto, Canada on 06/23/10 at 07:12 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

So the Thrashers end up with Oduya, Bergfors, Cormier, Byfuglien, Sopel and Eager for Kovalchuk.  hmmm

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 06/23/10 at 07:15 PM ET

perfection's avatar

well… that’s the last we’ll hear of Byfuglien for a while. off to obscurity in a bottom feeder organization in a non-hockey market for a non-playoff team. makes the division a little less physical.

i would have actually kept him if i were the hawks. his skill set is pretty unique where guys like Sharp and Versteeg are somewhat redundant on that team.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 06/23/10 at 07:23 PM ET

german_wing's avatar

“They’ll still be dangerous next season, but will have lots less margin for error/injury.”

sounds like the wings last season, eh?

“So the Thrashers end up with Oduya, Bergfors, Cormier, Byfuglien, Sopel and Eager for Kovalchuk.”

looking at it this way, it looks rather good i daresay.
especially considering the way the thrashers played after kovalchuk left ...

Posted by german_wing from Toronto, Canada on 06/23/10 at 07:23 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

“They’ll still be dangerous next season, but will have lots less margin for error/injury.”

sounds like the wings last season, eh?

My thoughts exactly, except Detroit has a better coach. 

grin

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/23/10 at 07:37 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

looking at it this way, it looks rather good i daresay.
especially considering the way the thrashers played after kovalchuk left

Agreed

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 06/23/10 at 08:11 PM ET

Avatar

from a vancouver fan… thank you salary cap, and more important, thank you chicago.

oh, and atlanta, how does bernier and grabner sound for byfuglien and bieksa?

Posted by fcjbencard on 06/23/10 at 08:51 PM ET

Avatar

bieksa of course being a salary dump… lousy alcohol etc

Posted by fcjbencard on 06/23/10 at 08:51 PM ET

Alan's avatar

As an Atlanta fan, I’m pleased. It’ll be interesting to see how Morin shapes out in Chicago, though, as he was one of the players I was looking forward to seeing in the coming seasons.

I know there’s a few other Atlanta fans hanging around on KK.

off to obscurity in a bottom feeder organization in a non-hockey market for a non-playoff team.

Thanks for sharing. Those of us in Atlanta are quite aware of this. We’re also aware of why this is, and how this is. With the new GM, and the seemingly improved play of the team last year, we’re also hoping the organization has shifted directions and starts winning.

We Atlanta fans are also a little sensitive to those sort of statements, because they’re usually followed up by someone saying “Move them to Winnipeg!!1.”

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 06/23/10 at 09:18 PM ET

Avatar

Move them to Winnipeg!!1

(sorry)

Posted by Garth on 06/23/10 at 09:23 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Haha! raspberry

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 06/23/10 at 09:57 PM ET

Avatar

That is a real nice gesture by the hawks.  “Hey thanks for the blood, sweat, and tears, and a cup… now go rot in Atlanta”

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 06/23/10 at 10:11 PM ET

Avatar

Sad to see Buff go, but something had to give in Chicago.

off to obscurity in a bottom feeder organization in a non-hockey market for a non-playoff team.

and

Move them to Winnipeg!!1

While the obscurity of Atlanta is not ideal it could be worse! He could be playing in Winnipeg a non-hockey market for a non-playoff team!

Posted by timbits on 06/23/10 at 11:11 PM ET

Baroque's avatar

The Thrashers can’t move to Winnipeg. Isn’t that where the Coyotes are supposed to go? smile

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 06/24/10 at 04:35 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Whoa… never thought Byfuglien would be a guy they’d let go. Outside of the obvious—Toews, Kane, and Keith—he was clearly their most important playoff performer each of the last two seasons.

We’ve seen the importance of a guy that plays “net front” the last few years. There’s a reason the Wings struggle when one (or multiples) of Homer, Franzen, and Cleary went down injured. Also remember how much better the Hawks were when they moved Byfuglien back to forward after having him play D for a stint. And why did the Flyers find ways to score playoff goals? Because their entire team goes to the crease while Gagne, Carter, and Pronger rip shots in.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/24/10 at 09:04 AM ET

DigitalGypsy66's avatar

I can’t wait to see big Buff smear Mike Green over the course of 6 games next season.

Posted by DigitalGypsy66 on 06/24/10 at 09:50 AM ET

Moq's avatar

Looks like a good deal for both teams. Atlanta exchanges picks for the NHL ready players that they need, and Chicago gets a decent return in picks and the promising prospect Morin.

Assuming that Huet gets demoted or shipped overseas and that no one touches Campbell’s contract with a ten foot pole, Chicago still needs to trade someone like Versteeg to field a 20 or 21 man roster with a bit of cap in reserve. Depending, of course, on the increased cost of signing RFA contracts and adding new players.

All in all, it seems like Chicago will have a very competitive team for next season.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 06/24/10 at 11:45 AM ET

Avatar

Assuming that Huet gets demoted or shipped overseas and that no one touches Campbell’s contract with a ten foot pole, Chicago still needs to trade someone like Versteeg to field a 20 or 21 man roster with a bit of cap in reserve.

Discussions have revolved around Versteeg and Sharp. Sharp would be a bigger loss as Versteeg still needs to improve his hockey sense and playmaking skills. Sharp is much more versatile.

Posted by timbits on 06/24/10 at 12:03 PM ET

Avatar

Sharp is much more versatile.

I’ve read in a couple places that Chicago isn’t willing to entertain offers for Sharp.

Posted by Garth on 06/24/10 at 05:49 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com