Chicago Blackhawks Shed Salary in Byfuglien Trade, Who’s Next?

June 23rd, 2010 by Greg Caggiano Leave a reply »
This afternoon, the Chicago Blackhawks, fresh off a Stanley Cup victory, made the first of what we believe to be many trades this summer. The Hawks are completely strapped for cash, with ten players up for free agency, including star goaltender Anti Niemi, and only $1.234 million in cap space, before this trade was made.

The Blackhawks sent playoff hero Dustin Byguglien, along with veteran defenseman Brent Sopel, enforcer Ben Eager, and prospect Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers for first and second round picks (that Atlanta acquired in the Kovalchuk trade) along with Marty Reasoner and Jeremy Morin.

For the Thrashers, this was a tremendous trade by GM Don Waddell, who capitalized on the Blackhawks' need to shed salary. As for Chicago, it is unfortunate, but a necessary evil that the franchise had to deal with.

Byfuglien had become a fan favorite for his physical play and nose for the net, as well as when he scored four goals in a four game series against the San Jose Sharks in these playoffs. Sopel, on the other hand, has been a class act wherever he went, and will be marching in Chicago’s annual gay pride parade.

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