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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Tanabe, Knyazev Sent to Coyotes

Danny Markov, 26, will stabilize the Carolina defense with his all-around game and ability to play big minutes.

RALEIGH, N.C. – Jim Rutherford, President / General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired defenseman Danny Markov and a third- or fourth-round draft pick in 2004 or 2005 from Phoenix. In exchange, the Hurricanes sent defensemen David Tanabe and Igor Knyazev to the Coyotes.

“The addition of Danny stabilizes our defense and gives us more experience on our back end for next year,” said Rutherford. "If you look at our defense, we have a few older veterans and a few young kids, this trade gives us a player in his prime."

Markov, 26, completed his sixth NHL season in 2002-03 posting four goals and 16 assists (20 points) in 64 regular-season games with Phoenix. In 336 career NHL regular-season games, the Moscow native has 19 goals, 82 assists (101 points), 240 penalty minutes and a plus-19 plus/minus rating. He recorded career highs in goals (6), assists (30), points (36) and games played (72) in 2001-02, his first season with the Coyotes. The Toronto Maple Leafs selected Markov (6’ 1”, 190 lbs.) in the ninth round, 223rd overall, in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.

David Tanabe was the Hurricanes first-round draft pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
In Tanabe and Knyazev, Rutherford gave up two young defensemen who were both former first-round draft picks. But he said it was worth the risk because of the fact that Markov should fit in perfectly with the remaining Hurricanes defensemen, with his all-around game, and ability to kill penalties.

Tanabe was Carolina's top pick in the 1999 draft, 16th overall, but after compiling just 15 goals and 47 assists in 251 NHL games, he was deemed expendable.

Knyazev was the 15th overall selection in 2001. The 20-year-old Russian had two goals and five assists in 68 games for Lowell of the American Hockey League last season.

"Tanabe's an NHL defensemen, and he's a young guy, he's going to help Phoenix, said Rutherford. "Knyazev's still a prospect, but we got the guy that's got experience, he plays hard every game and he plays with an edge, too."

The trade was the only move during the first day of the draft by Carolina, which selected Peterborough Petes center Eric Staal with the No. 2 overall pick.

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