<
>

Blues trade Tkachuk for Metropolit, draft picks

Keith Tkachuk is headed out of St. Louis.

The Blues traded 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.

"I see this team as having just as good a shot [at the Stanley Cup] as any team," Tkachuk told TSN of Canada. "We're one point out of the division lead, so I'm very excited about the opportunity."

Tkachuk has 20 goals and 23 assists for 43 points, second most
on the Blues, in 61 games.

"We want to thank Keith for his time and dedication to the
Blues organization over the past six years," team president John
Davidson said in a statement. "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.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.