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Roseau's Byfuglien traded from Blackhawks to Thrashers

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(Sports Network) - Playoff hero and Roseau native Dustin Byfuglien has changed teams as the forward was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Atlanta Thrashers as part of a seven-player deal.

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The Thrashers also acquired forwards Ben Eager and Akim Aliu, along with defenseman Brent Sopel for forwards Marty Reasoner, Joey Crabb and Jeremy Morin, as well as a first-round choice (24th overall) and a second-round choice (54th overall) in this week's NHL Draft.

Byfuglien tied for the team lead in goals for the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks with 11.

The Thrashers also traded defenseman Mike Vernace, forward Brett Sterling and a seventh-round selection (188th overall) in this year's draft to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations. Atlanta made that move for roster flexibility with regards to the deal with the Blackhawks.

"This deal immediately improves our hockey club and adds valuable size, speed and Stanley Cup experience to our roster," said Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley. "Dustin Byfuglien is a prototypical power forward and another young, rising star we are adding to our roster. With Brent Sopel and Ben Eager we also get a defensive-minded defenseman who is one of the better penalty killers in the league, and a tough, checking line forward who is an outstanding forchecker. Akim Aliu joins our stable of talented prospects."

The 25-year-old Byfuglien recorded 16 points in 22 postseason games. He also posted 34 points (17 goals, 17 assists) while appearing in all 82 regular- season games with Chicago.

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