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Blues trade Tkachuk to Thrashers

NHL.com @NHL

ST. LOUIS (AP) -The St. Louis Blues traded forward Keith Tkachuk to the Atlanta Thrashers on Sunday, getting forward Glen Metropolit, a first-round draft pick in 2007 and two other picks in return.

It was the second trade for Atlanta in two days. The Thrashers acquired defenseman Alexei Zhitnik from the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night for former first-round draft pick Braydon Coburn.

Tkachuk has 20 goals and 23 assists for 43 points, second most on the Blues, in 61 games. He waived a no-trade clause.

"We want to thank Keith for his time and dedication to the Blues organization over the past six years," team president John Davidson said. "We wish him and his family nothing but the best for the future."

The Thrashers were sixth in the Eastern Conference with 72 points, but four teams are within two points of them.

St. Louis also gets a third-round pick in 2007, a second-round pick in 2008. If Atlanta re-signs Tkachuk the Blues will also get a first-round draft choice in 2008.

Metropolit has 12 goals and 16 assists in 57 games with Atlanta this season, along with 20 penalty minutes. In 160 career games he has 22 goals and 53 assists while also playing for the Capitals and Lightning.

The Blues are rebuilding after finishing last overall last season and were 11th in the Western Conference, 12 points out of the final playoff spot with a .500 record and 61 points. St. Louis also was considering offers for Bill Guerin, who leads the team with 28 goals, although Davidson denied the team was dismantling.

The trade came one day after the Blues re-signed defenseman Eric Brewer and goalie Manny Legace to multiyear contracts. St. Louis had the worst record in the league last season after its previous owners traded most of its stars, including Chris Pronger and Doug Weight, to cut payroll and facilitate a sale.

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