Thrashers trade Sopel to Montreal

The Thrashers acquired forward Ben Maxwell and a fourth-round draft pick this year from Montreal in exchange for defenseman Brent Sopel and forward Nigel Dawes.

The move was announced shortly after Thrashers General Manager Rick Dudley addressed the media about his contract extension. Dudley said a trade was likely and the team would deal from its strength – seven NHL defenseman on the roster and two more capable in the minors.

Maxwell, 22, had 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists) in 47 games with AHL Hamilton.  He ranks second on the team in points and assists, and ranks fourth in goals.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound center has played 20 NHL games with Montreal. He was selected by the Canadiens in the second round, 49th overall, of the 2006 draft.

Sopel, 34, has appeared in 59 games with the Thrashers this season with seven points (two goals, five assists).  He was acquired by the Thrashers from Chicago on June 24, 2010. He becomes the second of the four Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks obtained in the offseason to be traded again. Ben Eager was dealt to San Jose earlier this season.

Sopel announced the deal on Twitter by saying “Off to Montreal – let the games begin!!”

Sopel will be back in Atlanta on March 1 when the Canadiens play at Philips Arena.

Dawes, 26, recorded one assist in nine games, over three stints, with the Thrashers this season. He also had  44 points (27 goals, 17 assists) in 47 games for the Wolves.

67 comments Add your comment

KLS1

February 24th, 2011
3:06 pm

The Real Thrash

February 24th, 2011
3:10 pm

The Real Thrash

February 24th, 2011
3:13 pm

A vet and another player for a player with 20 games in the league since 2006.
Ugh!

The Real Thrash

February 24th, 2011
3:13 pm

I smell a salary dump!

Charles Manson

February 24th, 2011
3:13 pm

C-Viv is on it today man.

Nigel Dawes

February 24th, 2011
3:15 pm

You are going to miss my one point a season totals! I will be back..just like Krog and Haydar..Stapleton..you haven’t seen the last of me !

jb

February 24th, 2011
3:15 pm

Sopes wasnt going to re-sign here and we had an extra D man, so I guess this can’t be a bad trade for us. Whether or not it will be good depends on Maxwell I guess.

Furious George

February 24th, 2011
3:15 pm

Not a terrible deal by any stretch, Maxwell has potential. I would have been happier had it been Pacioretty coming back this way. At any rate, this should help our forward core going along.

Zombie Steve

February 24th, 2011
3:15 pm

Not surprised. Good luck Sopes

Fire Ramsay

February 24th, 2011
3:19 pm

This is about Mark Stuart and how in 2 games he out worked every D man we have suited up this year, including Sopel. Stuart = Roster Spot. Good move, Dawes was putrid, Stuart has the right mentality, he plays hard every shift..that seems to be a problem for most Thrashers even fringe guys like Dawes who couldn’t crack our thin lineup.

Yea

February 24th, 2011
3:20 pm

Well, Sopel seemed like a classy guy but not sure this will hurt or not. Our D needs to put people on there butts whenever they get even close to the net.

Telfo

February 24th, 2011
3:22 pm

i like Sopel but Stuart is an upgrade and younger/signable.

good value for those two.

CA Thrashers Fan

February 24th, 2011
3:29 pm

Can’t really complain about trading a UFA and guy who couldn’t crack the lineup for a prospect and pick. I would wager Maxwell ends up more as a bottom 6 type, but the team is kind of short on depth everywhere, so we’ll take it.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Dudley ship off one more defenseman before the deadline hits either. Maybe Oduya or Hainsey (the former I would prefer at this point) for another prospect or young forward? Would love to see Kulda or Postma get some quality time with the club from now til the end of the season.

Buff-n-stuff

February 24th, 2011
3:29 pm

This is a GREAT move. There will be MORE before Monday. The moves may not get us to the promise land this season, but will certainly set the table for next. And that season “WILL BE” in Atlanta, as the team cannot and will not be moved (if at all) before 2012.

Matt

February 24th, 2011
3:32 pm

face it, we’re not making the playoffs this year, let’s clean house.

Of course, had we made deals about two months ago, we might be having a different discussion.

I doubt it will happen, but I’d like to see this team spend some money in the off-season (not sure who will be available). Bring in a some quality free agents, sign them here on one-year deal. If it works out, well the players will have incentive to re-sign. If it doesn’t we can trade them at the deadline to playoff teams. Either way, that player will be skating in the post-season and their contracts will be off the books.

I want to see Atlanta really put some quality guys in the lineup next year. Go out and be active in free agency. There’s not a position on this team that couldn’t use an upgrade. I’d like to see one at almost every position.

I’m sure this is all a (crack)pipe dream for me, but I’d like to see a top line center and winger added AND a stay at home defenseman. We’ve GOT to add better, NHL-caliber forwards though.

jimcee

February 24th, 2011
3:34 pm

Hope to see some great crowds for the next several games….15,000+ needed to show there are real hockey fans in Atlanta!

The Real Thrash

February 24th, 2011
3:40 pm

Maxwell, 22, has yet to record a point in 20 NHL games — all with Montreal.

The Real Thrash

February 24th, 2011
3:42 pm

Buff-n-stuff-Crack smoking is not allowed on this blog.

The Real Thrash

February 24th, 2011
3:43 pm

See yall at the next game. Be there!

Paminski

February 24th, 2011
3:45 pm

Seems like more than necessary for a barely-tested young center. But if Sopel’s contract is up, then maybe a good choice.

thrash head

February 24th, 2011
3:48 pm

Good move. Sopel refused to play the body

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Billy Silvestri and John Terry, Chris Vivlamore. Chris Vivlamore said: Thrashers trade Sopel to Montreal http://bit.ly/eEnM68 [...]

ThrasherTim

February 24th, 2011
4:10 pm

Not sure I agree with Dudley’s assessment of our Defense as a “position of strength” — but this deal seems reasonable since we obtained Stuart.

ashtray

February 24th, 2011
4:18 pm

At least Maxwell is tall enough to ride the big boy rides at Six Flags.

Iron League 13

February 24th, 2011
4:31 pm

Ok a 22 year old center, at least they got a forward, buuuuut…this kid’s got ZERO , yes ZERO POINTS in TWENTY NHL GAMES. Say what you will, but what’s the upside? We lost a Sopel for what, this and a pick? Yeah, hey we do REALLY EFFING GOOD with picks don’tcha know.(?). That’s rad another pick, just effing rad. RAW DEAL.

kent

February 24th, 2011
4:35 pm

you deserve a lot of credit for maintaining this blog and covering this pitiful franchise. It can’t be easy going into a seaqson knowing that sooner or later your team will be unable to compete.

Iron League 13

February 24th, 2011
4:35 pm

Whomever said this kid’s got upside, I’m sorry, but how’s Burmi working (when healthy)? How about Cormier? How about Stapleton? How About all the other “prospects” called up? Any surprises with any of them this year? Hold on let me help you answer that, EFF NO!!!

Don’t take that personally, just sayin’, Again BAD EFFING MOVE!!!

Old Time Hockey

February 24th, 2011
4:47 pm

Let’s see if he can unload that worthless back-up goalie for ANYTHING…

Fan

February 24th, 2011
5:29 pm

Fans will not support another rebuild. No playoffs mean no additonal revenue so how does wonership expect to generate fan interest going into next year? Salary dumps are never good with a team in fiancial trouble.

East Point Bob

February 24th, 2011
5:32 pm

Most of our “prospects” have done little to nothing. Burmi, has not been a factor 95% of the season.
Comier has done zip, looks like a complete bust to me, The others, well forget them ! Dudley
is showing me he is not an NHL GM, just like Waddell was. Things not getting better at all.
I believe the team will be moving after the season, so really not much of a reason to get excited.

kracker

February 24th, 2011
5:52 pm

The team isn’t moving but don’t tell East Point Bob. Maybe he will go away, all he does is b*t*h and moan, anyway. Same applies to all too many on these blogs.

CA Thrashers Fan

February 24th, 2011
5:55 pm

@IL 13
What exactly do you think would have been fair value for Sopel then? A decent bottom 6 prospect and a pick is far more than I would have guessed, AND we got rid of Dawes.

@Fan
The rebuild has never stopped. Frankly, at this point, if the fans don’t support what the team is doing, there won’t even be a team there to not support.

kracker

February 24th, 2011
6:25 pm

Rebuilds never stop, period. Especially in the salary cap era.Unfortunately, due to being habitually under-funded, the Thrashers simply have never gotten a sufficient number of quality top six and top pairing players. Our drafting and scouting could be better and hopefully w/ Dudley in charge, it will be. Also, the hoped-for new owners simply must address the lack of coordinated prospect/player development on our AHL affiliate. They will probably have to either scrap the association w/ the Wolves altogether or keep the realtionship w/ them and, if possible, also hook up w/ another AHL club. I have read of two NHL clubs having the same AHL team for player development.

Stat Man

February 24th, 2011
6:48 pm

IL 13:

You obviously missed the key statement Dudley made.

“We will deal from our strength”

Now then, considering just how strong (weak) our strength could possibly be – why would you think we would be able to land a player that could REALLY help us?

Translation: Since this teams strength is the fact they don’t make DICK to allow the cesspool owners to stay 25% BELOW the salary cap – don’t expect much by trading away said “cheap” players!

sisu

February 24th, 2011
7:13 pm

is this an admission of quit in the team???

Iron League 13

February 24th, 2011
7:48 pm

CA Thrashers Fan and Stat Man – I don’t run into you two very often on here so we don’t know each others feelings too well, here’s where I’m coming from…

Can either of you tell me WTF-ing point here was? This season is toast and I’ve been saying FOREVER NOW, Stat Man that we’ve got NOTHING to trade ourselves except for rookies, prospects and picks. Most of the vets are necessary to this team (absurd I know). So, my opinion is instead of getting rid of a decent vet in order to get a NOBODY and another EFFING PICK, how about A.) BET THE FARM PICKS AND ALL or B.) just don’t do anything. The only pro to this would be if Sopel wouldn’t sign another extention, but you’ll see this will likely have ZERO benefit now or later. CA Thrash, no offense but again to call this kid decent is a stretch and a half at least…he’s got 20 NHL games and NO I repeat NO POINTS. That’s called a warm body where I come from, nothing more nothing less.

Iron League 13

February 24th, 2011
8:00 pm

CA Thrash – sorry I hate second thoughts, but you said it yourself really. We dealt a better prospect and a solid vet away for an uknown prospect and an unknown pick.

My question to both CA Thrash and Stat is, how is this a pro?

Please tell me how having a lower payroll is good now or later, give me some stats or something that tells you this prospect is ready to help even as much as Sopel.

lordstan57

February 24th, 2011
8:08 pm

Never any shortage of greenflies around here.
Loudmouth experts one, and all.

Takes no expertise to bitch about everything.
No nads, no backbone….. just bich, and moan.

GO THRASHERS!!!!!!!

kracker

February 24th, 2011
8:15 pm

Sopel is an aging vet, a super guy but his time is nearing the end. He is also a FA this summer and will sign with a team more likely to contend than the Thrashers.GMs know which guys want to stay for the right offer and which are simply going to sign elsewhere. Sopel was the latter.

Dawes is a 13th forward at best. He played in 9 games for the Thrashers with one assist.

Dudley took the nothing we would have had next year and exchanged that for a pick to be used or traded and a 2nd round center with solid upside potential. Good move. A team must stockpile young talent and picks, some of which either turn into valuable NHLers or will help you to acquire them..

Dwayne

February 24th, 2011
8:31 pm

Just wondering, we get picks, young talent with upside, but where do they develop? certainatly not Chicago, our guys don’t get much playing time do they? I dont keep up with the AHL or any other minor league teams, watching the Thrashers have been bush league enough for me lately, but still rooting for a miracle. Go Thrashers!!

Rob

February 24th, 2011
8:41 pm

*** Ok a 22 year old center, at least they got a forward, buuuuut…this kid’s got ZERO , yes ZERO POINTS in TWENTY NHL GAMES. Say what you will, but what’s the upside? **

Reminder Iron League, this team is playing Tim Stapleton, a 28 year old forward with no goals in 25+ games

Curly

February 24th, 2011
8:43 pm

Good move by Dudley. Ottawa only got a 7th rounder for Kovalev (from the Penguins). Dudley manages a 4th rounder AND prospect for Sopel and Dawes. Face it; We are SELLERS this season. Dudley is building for the future.

Iron League 13

February 24th, 2011
8:44 pm

Lordstan – pretty certain that’s directed at me, if so maybe you should come around more often to see how often I stick up for this team. Basically Dud’s just admitted to you that this season is done so screw it. What positive nugget of brilliance do you have to say about that? Again, before you slap baseless tags and descriptions of me about lacking a hairy pair or insinuating that I’m an invertabrate you should probably come back here more often or better yet elaborate on how excellent it is to watch this current incarnation of the Thrashers stink up the league like they have in so most seasons prior. Can you tell me what complaining about people complaining is? Exactly, shove it.

Kracker – Understood on Sopes likelihood of staying, but again that’s giving up on this season. Dawes on the other hand has one more point in less then half the games as this cat and so I see no benefit. On the pick part of it, geez I don’t want to do another list. I know you see where I’m going and why so I’m done there. I understand your point, but I see it as the trade deadline is too late to wait for. I’m certain a better deal could have been put together had the urgency started in January like it should have.

Iron League 13

February 24th, 2011
8:46 pm

Gotcha, Rob I already said that. Never been happy about having to play kids that aren’t ready or guys that will never be. This roster is anemically thin.

kracker

February 24th, 2011
8:50 pm

Yep, Dwayne, that is a problem, Chicago is owned by others and plays to win with little regard to the needs of the Thrashers’ prospect/player development. Obviously, that needs to change.

KLS1

February 24th, 2011
8:59 pm

East Point Bob is right, our prospects have done zero. That is what scares me, I’m not seeing a ton upside from our young players either.

Look at Skinner at Carolina…Kane is a whisper of what this kid is delivering and he was higher pick and has a year under his belt.

Brian Little is 3rd liner on a good team, at best.

Burmi has some upside but with our track record I wouldn’t put him down for the hall of fame yet.

Bogo, who knows…this kid is a mystery.

Bergie is on his way out.

Cormier…not impressed yet, still young.

Pavelec is good…and will get better, which is a great thing.

But overall this is what we are building around…? Not exactly cornerstones of a winning franchise. We’re a looong way from the promised land people.

kracker

February 24th, 2011
9:05 pm

IL13 – Lordstan was more likely talking about a guy like EPB who is always caustic with little else to say. I don’t read all his posts, of course, but you only have to read a few, like 10 or 12 entries, or less, to see who is who. We are all frustrated with the lack of success but all we can do is either get involved as an owner, a coach, GM, a scout, etc., or watch what happens and hope for the best. I feel Dudley is quite an upgrade from Waddell as a GM and a talent evaluater but it takes time to make significant changes, especially on a limited budget. We are all hopeful that the rumors about a new owner(s) will result in having the Thrashers be properly funded for the first time in their brief history. And yes, 11 years is a rather brief span for an NHL team. Just ask the Maple Leafs, they are at year 44 since their last Cup.

Iron League 13

February 24th, 2011
9:05 pm

KLS1- I want you to know I like the name, so at least I get it.

KLS1

February 24th, 2011
9:15 pm

Should probably be KLS-One. My hip-hop brother…