3.07.2009

Trade Deadline Analysis: Atlanta

All one has to do is look at the Thrashers spot in the standings to easily realize that Atlanta's purpose at the deadline was to clear out veterans to continue (or start?) a youth movement.

Their first trade was to send solid D-man Niclas Havelid to New Jersey along with prospect Miles Stoesz in return for young defender Anssi Salmela. Salmela was a highly regarded free agent coming out of Finland, and still has the potential to be a top blue-liner with some experience. He had 3 assists in 17 games with the Devils and was plus-1.

Atlanta's last trade was to send checking center Erik Christensen to Anaheim for prospect center Eric O'Dell. O'Dell will be another building block for the team in the future. The Thrashers might miss Christensen's shootout skills, though.

Those were the only moves made by the Thrashers. Many expected Ilya Kovalchuk to be involved in a blockbuster trade, as he'll be a free agent soon, is unsatisfied with the success in Atlanta, and would draw a strong return from many teams. However, the Thrashers will most likely look to the draft and hope that they can get a center to play with Kovalchuk; or hope that Bryan Little can develop stronger chemistry with the Russian left-winger.

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