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Lightning give up Svitov

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Columbus Blue Jackets dealt veteran defenseman Darryl Sydor to the Tampa Bay Lightning for center Alexander Svitov on Tuesday.

The trade also involved a swap of 2004 draft picks, with the
Blue Jackets picking up a third-round selection and giving up a
fourth-round choice.

Sydor flew out of Columbus on Tuesday afternoon to join his new team while Svitov was expected to meet up with the Blue Jackets on Wednesday.

The Southeast Division-leading Lightning gained a steady,
experienced hand on the blue line while Columbus added some
youthful punch to an offense that ranks 28th out of 30 teams in
goals.

"Darryl Sydor is the top four defenseman we have been searching for for quite some time now," Tampa Bay general manager Jay Feaster said. "He will bring veteran leadership and significant
playoff experience to our hockey club as he has already played more
than 900 NHL regular-season games and almost 100 Stanley Cup
playoff games at the age of 31."

Sydor has two goals and 13 assists with 26 penalty minutes in 49 games for Columbus this season. He was acquired last year in a
trade with Dallas for center Mike Sillinger and a second-round pick
in last year's draft.

With most of the other Columbus defensemen missing sizable
portions of the season due to injuries, Sydor was the one constant.
He has assists in three of the last five games, including setting
up Rick Nash's overtime goal against Los Angeles on Jan. 16.

The 6-1, 211-pound Sydor spent 11 seasons with the Kings and Stars before joining the Blue Jackets.

Svitov was the third overall pick in the 2001 draft. The 6-3,
217-pounder figures to see lots of ice time with another Russian,
19-year-old Nikolai Zherdev.

"Adding a big, physical forward like Alexander Svitov, who is
just 21, fills a critical need for our franchise because it's an
area where we don't have a lot of depth," Columbus general manager
Doug MacLean said.

One of the reasons Svitov was available is because the Lightning have depth at the position in young stars Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards.

"Darryl Sydor is a great person and he was great for our
team," MacLean said. "Having the opportunity to add a player who
was the third overall pick just three years ago was too tough to
pass up."

Svitov had four goals and four assists in 63 games last season
for the Lightning. This season he has played only 11 games with
Tampa Bay, spending most of the season with Hamilton of the AHL,
and had no goals and three assists.

The addition of Svitov adds to the Blue Jackets' list of young
offensive threats. Nash, also 19, leads the NHL with 30 goals.

"We obviously had to give up an outstanding young prospect to get Darryl," Feaster said. "We felt it was well worth it to get a
top four defenseman of this caliber."