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The W - Hockey - Blackhawks waste no time pulling the trigger - Byfuglien traded to Thrashers
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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.41
No WAY did I see this coming. At least... not this early.
    Originally posted by ESPN (sports.espn.go.com)
    Updated: June 23, 2010, 10:40 PM ET
    Source: Hawks trade Byfuglien

    By Pierre LeBrun
    ESPN.com


    The Chicago Blackhawks made a blockbuster trade with the Thrashers on Wednesday, the Stanley Cup champions moving Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Brent Sopel and a prospect to Atlanta for a first-round pick, a second-round pick, prospect Jeremy Morin and veteran forward Marty Reasoner, a source told ESPN.com.

    The first- and second-round picks that Chicago gets in the deal were acquired by Atlanta in the trade that sent Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey last February.

    The prospect Atlanta is getting from Chicago is Akim Aliu.

    The Blackhawks have not confirmed the trade. The trade was being delayed Wednesday night because it would move the Thrashers above the accepted limit of 50 player contracts, a league source told ESPN.com. Until Atlanta moved other contracts to get under the limit, the trade can't go through. But it is expected to happen.

    "It is what it is," Byfuglien said on "The Afternoon Saloon" on ESPN 1000. "It's part of the job. You're not going to stick in one spot the whole time so I've got to go."

    After winning their first Stanley Cup since 1961, the Blackhawks were in dire need of shedding salary as new contract extensions for Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane (five years, $31.5 million each) and Duncan Keith (13 years, $72 million) next season put them in a major salary-cap crunch.

    That comes on top of Marian Hossa's deal (12 years, $62.8 million) signed before last season. In addition, defenseman Brian Campbell just completed the second year of an eight-year, $56.8 million contract. Goalie Cristobal Huet, who became a pricey backup, has two years left on four-year, $22.45 million deal. Cup winning goalie Antti Niemi is a restricted free agent who is due a raise.

    The Hawks save just over $5 million in cap space with the trade.

    Byfuglien has one year left on his contract paying him $3 million, which is also his cap hit. Sopel has one year left on his deal at $2 million although his cap hit is $2.3 million. Eager is a restricted free agent who earned $965,000 this past season, so retaining his rights would have cost at least that much. The only salary the Hawks get back is Reasoner, who has one more year left on his contract at $1.2 million and his cap hit is $1.15 million.

    The Hawks will still have decisions to make on whether to keep the relatively high salaries of forwards Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg.

    Keith, who won the Norris Trophy on Wednesday night as the NHL's top defenseman, said the Blackhawks had to start making changes even though the Cup victory was still fresh in their thoughts.

    "There might be some more and it's not going to be fun," Keith said. "Everybody is going to have to keep moving forward, and a lot of times that's part of the business."

    Byfuglien was a major force in the Hawks' run to the Cup, switching from defense to forward to fill needs with the team. The 25-year-old scored three game-winning goals during a sweep of San Jose in the Western Conference finals that put Chicago in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1992. He also had a hat trick in a victory over the Canucks in the conference semifinals.

    Against the Flyers in the finals, the 6-foot-4, 257-pound Byfuglien struggled at times against defenseman Chris Pronger but scored three goals over the final two games. He had 11 goals overall during the playoffs after finishing with 17 during the regular season. He has three straight seasons with more than 30 points.

    Eager posted seven goals and nine assists in 60 games. Sopel was only a plus-3 for the season but was a big part of the Hawks' penalty kill, especially late in the regular season and the playoffs.

    Reasoner had four goals and 13 assists, his 11th season in the league.

    Sopel addressed the trade on his Twitter account. He tweeted "Thank You Everyone for the Amazing Well Wishes, but this is all just Rumor and has not been Confirmed yet. But regardless I LOVE U CHICAGO!"

    Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.




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Loosie
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Kitchener, Ontario

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.36
I'm not too surprised that something happened Chicago had no cap space and a lot of players to sign. It's purely a salary dump move as Chicago is giving up way more than they are getting.



Loosie.
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JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.53
I think Chicago is doing well for themselves considering other GMs could hold them over a barrel in these salary dumps knowing they have to get rid of people. In similar situations the must-sell teams have had to sweeten the deal with draft picks. In this case Chicago saves $6 million and gets a quality prospect, a 1st, and a 2nd for a couple guys they didn't want to keep and Byfuglien, who of their big Cup contributors is the likeliest one to be more of a two-month wonder than a genuine rising star.
odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.23

any truth to the story that one of the hawks that was traded had the cup yesterday?



Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine
ISSUE FOUR - OCTOBER 2009
AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.69
Brent was supposed to represent the Hawks in Saturday's gay pride parade, so I guess that's off - ah, maybe not. He was to be there with The Cup.

Surprised they don't eat Huet's salary and sent him to Rockford to get Cap money. Bummed to lose Buff - he was a hell of a force in the playoffs.



We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.

That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy - Swift

TheOldMan
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Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.86
Well, while of course it would have been nice to let everyone have their day with the Cup before reality came knocking, the NHL Draft tonight really forced GM Stan Bowman's hand. It was well understood among the team (if not so much the fan base in general) that the salary cap just would not allow keeping this team intact - win or lose this past season.

Intended or not, it sort of works out that the Blackhawks loaded up with some veterans while Toews and Kane worked their way into their spots, and now as the stars approach their prime years, they will be expected to show new players the ropes. Under a hard cap situation, it's almost required that you get contributions from (inexpensive) rookies, and they are high on Kyle Beach coming up to take one of the open winger positions.

Byfuglin may well turn into the force he's showed at times, but he's leaving because he's thought to have ran hot and cold the last three seasons, inconsistent.. and after the playoff run it could be "selling high". The Blackhawks currently have the 24th, 30th, 43rd, 54th and 60th picks in the first two rounds of tonight's draft. And I hear rumors that they're talking about a deal with the Canucks, winger 'Grandmaster' Kris Versteeg for the 25th pick.

As it is, this Big Buff trade - along with letting C John Madden walk and apparently sending Christobal Huet back to France (how's that for a salary cap loophole?), they've freed up over $10m in cap space, which should allow for the resigning of 4th D-man Nik Hjarlmasson and winger Andrew Ladd (both RFA's), and allow a decent bump for G Antti Niemi.



Loosie
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Kitchener, Ontario

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.39
Chicago also sent Colin Fraser to Edmonton for a 6th rounder.



Loosie.
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JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.53
    Originally posted by TheOldMan
    apparently sending Christobal Huet back to France (how's that for a salary cap loophole?)


Haha that's awesome. Can he take Campbell with him?
odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.23

the guys on HNIC radio seem to think that Huet will be taken off the hawks' hands either by the Leafs (who can eat the contract) or a team that will have probably making the salary floor (Fishermen, Preds).



Mark Coale
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ISSUE FOUR - OCTOBER 2009
JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.53
Versteeg and Ladd gone too. Everyone knew this was coming two years ago but it's still weird to see. Chicago is getting good assets back, although there are going to be a lot of bored 2010 Blackhawks at the banner raising.

Also, every UFA signing in the NHL.
JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.52
Hawks walk away from Niemi's arbitration award and replace him with Martin "Marty" Turco at about half the price.

Backup goalie Huet and erstwhile 4th defenseman Campbell continue to make $13M combined.

Still, Cup.
AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.69
I don't quite understand the whole Hockey cap thing, but if my Antti goes to Atlanta too, I might have to make the Thrashers my second team.



We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.

That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy - Swift

TheOldMan
Landjager








Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.48
Again, Huet and his $5.6m cap hit is being swallowed by owner Rocky Wirtz, Huet will likely be loaned to a European club in a way that removes him from the Blackhawks cap.

Campbell (as a free agent) needed to be induced to come to a Chicago team that was just about to start its rise, so former GM Dale Tallon overpaid, but Soup's contract is merely bad in that he's a very talented player who's overpaid by $2 million at most.

What really screwed the Hawks this off season is a $4,100,000 cap penalty triggered by paying out too much in bonuses last year, and to a lesser degree the Sharks driving up the price on Hjarlmasson with an offer sheet.

It's not like they didn't try to re-sign Niemi, but with a hard salary cap situation it was going to have to be at current GM Stan Bowman's price. Niemi (not unfairly) wanted to cash in - but he's a 27 year-old late bloomer that hasn't played a full season yet. Yes, he won 16 Cup games - but it wasn't that he was stealing games left and right. Could be a star is born, could turn out to be a one-season wonder. And the Bowman M.O. in Detroit was to pay for defenders, save money on the netminders.

I think if there was no cap concerns, the team would have been happy enough to give Niemi $3 million on a "let's see if you're for real" deal, but the cap space just wasn't there. People I listen to are saying that Turco is every bit as good as Niemi was last year, only he didn't have the Hawks' defense sweeping away the juicy rebounds, Niemi did.



odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.64

your defending stanley cup champions - 1998 florida marlins



Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine
ISSUE FOUR - OCTOBER 2009
JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.52
    Originally posted by TheOldMan
    Again, Huet and his $5.6m cap hit is being swallowed by owner Rocky Wirtz, Huet will likely be loaned to a European club in a way that removes him from the Blackhawks cap.


I saw Huet's cap hit was officially removed now; I thought there would be more fanfare for Cristobal Amnesty Day!



    Campbell (as a free agent) needed to be induced to come to a Chicago team that was just about to start its rise, so former GM Dale Tallon overpaid, but Soup's contract is merely bad in that he's a very talented player who's overpaid by $2 million at most.


Right, it's not that he's bad, but he was totally superfluous on a team that has/had Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Barker, Sopel, etc. So his $7m prevented them from keeping so many other (arguably way more valuable) assets, when Campbell makes almost as much as Byfuglien, Ladd, and Versteeg combined.



    Niemi (not unfairly) wanted to cash in - but he's a 27 year-old late bloomer that hasn't played a full season yet.


Letting Niemi walk does fit my "worst two goalies in the modern history of the Finals" hypothesis.


    Originally posted by odessasteps
    your defending stanley cup champions - 1998 florida marlins


I was going to make this joke but I thought it was unfair since it would really only be like the Marlins if Florida still kept its six best players and maintained the same payroll. Still, for fans to go to war with those guys for two months and for certain players to become playoff heroes and instant legends and then just like that you have to say bye to a whole bunch of them immediately must be emotionally tough on the ever-vulnerable sports fan psyche.
TheOldMan
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Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.47
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
    Still, for fans to go to war with those guys for two months and for certain players to become playoff heroes and instant legends and then just like that you have to say bye to a whole bunch of them immediately must be emotionally tough on the ever-vulnerable sports fan psyche.


Bingo. Because by saying "two months", you're covering the last of the bandwagon fans that jumped aboard during the past Cup run. Outside of them, it seems that the hockey-going public of Chicago is ahead of anyone in town that covers the sport. (Which gets back to your 'two months' qualifier - local sports talk radio had an actual policy of screening out hockey calls up until last years' playoffs or so.)

The rest of us appear able to read a spreadsheet. Local consensus is that Bowman has done well to get what he did in the trades that every GM knew the Hawks had to make to pare payroll. There's still mixed feelings about can Byfuglien be replaced, but I'm with the crowd that thinks you can put most anyone with Kane and Toews and you'll get 20 goals.

Campbell is held in high regard even with his cap hit, and Seabrook is going to get his deal as well. Otherwise it's mostly going to be up to the prospects to man the 'checking' and 'energy' lines this year - with Toews, Kane and Keith starting their new long-term deals there's not the flexibility to have all the veteran depth there was last year. But the 'core' players that remain have their Cup-winning experience going for them.



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that's true.... but since he is owner that gives him certain rights.... and i imagine there is something about playing in the olympics and playing for that gold.... what really sux is that i have him on my fantasy team.
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