Wednesday, June 23, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Thrashers and Blackhawks Involved In Blockbuster, Ramsay To Be Head Coach

((HT: ESPN/LeBrun))

In a trade still pending league approval, the Cup champ Chicago Blackhawks are poised to trade power forward Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager, and a prospect in exchange for a one, a two, a prospect, and Marty Reasoner.

The Hawks are looking to dump salary while new Thrashers GM Rick Dudley is in a win now-mode while, at the same time, trying to court a new head coach and balance the notion of not being able to know who his owners will be long-term.

This could also be seen as a move by Atlanta Spirit to make an asset look more attractive for the sale previously reported by the New York Post and the HQ...

According to, Byfuglien has one year left on his contract paying him $3 million. Sopel has one year left on his deal at $2 million with a cap hit of $2.3 million. Eager earned $965,000 in 2010, but as an RFA should the Thrashers choose to resign him, it would take that much at a minimum.

The Blackhawks get Reasoner, who has one more year left on his contract at $1.2 million and his cap hit is $1.15 million.

Doing HQ Math, that means the Thrash would have 15 players under contract for a number close to US$33.6M. 10 players would be unrestricted free agents and five more would have restricted status- including Eager. There would be US$29.8-million left under the salary cap. Dudley needs to make decisions on Max Afinogenov, Colby Armstrong, Evgeny Artyukhin, Niclas Bergfors, Eric Boulton, Bryan Little, and Clarke MacArthur, Pavel Kubina, Christoph Schubert, Mark Popovic, Ondrej Pavelec, and Johan Hedberg.

Slava Kozlov and Chris Chelios look to retire...

The Blackhawks save five million and have decisions to make on guys like Antti Niemi, Andrew Ladd, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and John Madden. HQ Math on Chicago has them, currently, at 14 players signed for 2010-2011 for US$58.8M.

Here's what the Thrash are getting in their new power forward...
They hope...
((HT: NHL/NBC Sports))

LeBrun, FOSG Scott Burnside, and ESPNChicago's Jesse Rogers discuss...

1230 UPDATE: To get under the 50-player limit, Dudley sent the expiring contract of Brett Sterling, Mike Versace, and a Seven to San Jose for future considerations.

TSN, among other sources, is saying Craig Ramsay will be named the new Thrashers Head Coach with John Torchetti named as an assistant.

Chris Vivlamore concurs from the AJC...

It will be Ramsay's first full-time head coaching gig, but he has been interim head coach in two other situations. Ramsay will replace John Anderson who lost his locker room during the '09-'10 season.

An official announcement could come as early as Thursday.

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