First, the Thrashers give up a good portion of their future by sending defenseman prospect Braydon Coburn to Philadelphia for Alexei Zhitnik, who happens to be 13 years older than Coburn. This morning, tsn.ca reports that the Thrashers have dealt multiple draft picks (including a first rounder) and a roster player* to St. Louis for forward Keith Tkachuk, a guy who is on pace for a 58-point season (using that standard, Dainius Zubrus -- on a pace for a 71-point season -- should fetch Jordan Staal and Ryan Whitney from Pittsburgh) and who is due to be come a free agent at the end of this season.
Panic on GM Don Waddell's part? Concern that his job is in jeopardy? These are moves that scream "sell our souls for right now." Atlanta has been sinking like a rock in February (2-7-2 overall) and is now only two points from dropping out of the playoff mix altogether.
This was the year Atlanta was supposed to make the playoffs. If they don't . . .
. . . well, that's why these kinds of moves are made. Trouble is, if they don't work out, Atlanta is setting themselves up for some major steps backward.
* update: tsn.ca reports that the deal is Tkachuk for:
- a first-round pick in 2007
- a third-round pick in 2007
- a second-round pick in 2008
- CenterGlen Metropolit.
All for a rental.