Thrashers acquire LW Tkachuk from Blues

Feb 26, 2007 - 5:05 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Thrashers are serious about making the postseason for the first time in their seven-year history.

The Thrashers made their second trade in less than 24 hours on Sunday, acquiring veteran left wing Keith Tkachuk from the St. Louis Blues.

Atlanta sent center Glen Metropolit, first- and third-round picks in 2007 and a second-round pick in 2008 to St. Louis. If the Thrashers re-sign Tkachuk, the Blues also would receive a first-round selection in 2008.

"That's the best package for the future of the Blues," St. Louis president John Davidson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Atlanta wanted him badly and they put together a deal and we hammered it out."

Shortly after Saturday night's 4-1 loss to Carolina, Atlanta acquired veteran defenseman Alexei Zhitnik from the Philadelphia Flyers for fellow blue-liner Braydon Coburn.

The Thrashers are sixth in the Eastern Conference standings with 72 points. But they have lost six of their last seven games, falling out of first place in the Southeast Division, one point behind Tampa Bay.

In Tkachuk, the Thrashers add a gritty veteran who has been through plenty of playoff wars in his 15-year career.

"Coach Andy Murray came to my (hotel) room this morning and told me it's Atlanta," Tkachuk told the newspaper. "It's a good move for the Blues and it gives me a chance to win. I'm excited. I love St. Louis, but I understand the situation."

Tkachuk, who turns 35-years old on March 28, has registered 20 goals and 23 assists in 61 games this season.

A four-time All-Star and two-time Olympian, Tkachuk has tallied 466 goals and 911 points in 958 career games with the Winnipeg-Phoenix franchise and St. Louis. The Massachusetts native twice reached the 50-goal plateau starting in 1995-96.

"We want to thank Keith for his time and dedication to the Blues organization over the past six years," St. Louis president John Davidson said.

Metropolit, 32, joins a Blues team that likely will miss the playoffs for a second straight season. St. Louis is 11th in the West, 12 points behind Minnesota and Calgary for the final postseason berth.

In 57 games this season, Metropolit has scored a career-high 12 goals and 28 points.

Metropolit has played in 160 career games with Washington, Tampa Bay and Atlanta, collecting 22 goals and 75 points.

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