Not much of a surprise, only that it was announced so late Wednesday, but as I told you last week was most likely to happen soon the Thrashers did avoid arbitration with Ben Eager.
The deal with Eager is for one year and it avoids a hearing that was set for Aug. 3 for the restricted free agent.
The forward, obtained in a trade with Chicago in June, agreed to a deal worth $965,000.
Eager, 26, was part of the trade with the Stanley Cup champions that also brought Dustin Byfuglien, Brett Sopel and prospect Akim Aliu to the Thrashers.
Eager, a 6-foot-3, 227-pound left wing, had 16 points (including seven goals)in 60 games last season and was a plus-9. He led the Blackhawks with 120 penalty minutes. Eager also appeared in 18 playoff games for the Blackhawks and had three points (one goal, two assists). He also earned $965,000 last season.
Eager was a first-round pick (No. 23) by Phoenix in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
The Thrashers have an arbitration hearing with restricted free agent forward Andrew Ladd, obtained from Chicago in a later trade, set for Thursday. As I tweeted this morning, it looks like that hearing with take place.