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With one move, the Chicago Blackhawks thrashed the hearts of thousands of fans.
The team traded Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Brent Sopel and prospect Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchanthe 24th and 54th overall picks in the NHL draft, veteran centerman Marty Reasoner and prospect Jeremy Morin.
“It is what it is. It’s part of the job. You’re not going to stick in one spot the whole time,” said Byfuglien to ESPN 1000 radio.
Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman describes the deal as a salary cap move. Bowman says it took about 50 phone calls and several hours before the two sides came to an agreement, according to ESPN.
"From our perspective this is exactly what we set out to accomplish, which was to get some top draft choices as well as a top prospect," said Bowman to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-times. "We've been planning to do this type of transaction for a long time."
Byfuglien played in all 82 of the Blackhawks game last season, recording 17 goals and 17 assists.
Jahns predicts this trade could mean Kris Versteeg stays put. The Blackhawks may find a way to move Cristobal Huet and his $5 million-plus salary, too. Other possible scenerios could include moving Patrick Sharp and his contract.