Blues re-acquired Tkachuk in trade with Thrashers

Updated: July 2, 2007, 12:51 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

He's back.

Just four months after being traded to the Atlanta Thrashers, forward Keith Tkachuk is officially a Blue again, according to a published report.

On the eve of the NHL free agency, the St. Louis Blues signed Tkachuk to a two-year deal Saturday, according to the Canadian Press. The Blues re-acquired the four-time All-Star in a trade with the Thrashers less than one week ago.

Keith Tkachuk

Tkachuk

St. Louis then had to act fast or risk losing the 35-year-old Tkachuk, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent Sunday.

The Canadian Press reported that the deal was for $8 million.

Tkachuk was sent to the Thrashers on Feb. 25 for Glen Metropolit, first- and third-round draft picks this year and a second-round pick in '08.

During his short Atlanta stint, Tkachuk picked up eight goals and 10 assists. He dumped in one of those goals and two assists during the Thrashers brief playoff run. Tkachuk and Atlanta bowed out of the first-round after being swept in four by the New York Rangers.

In 79 total games last season, Tkachuk finished with 27 goals and 31 assists.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pounnd center needs 27 goals to reach 500 and is 24 games shy of 1,000.

With numbers like that, St. Louis was happy to get Tkachuk before he hit the open market.

"Keith going on the market [Sunday] would be a highly-valued player," said Blues coach Andy Murray, as reported by the Canadian Press. "There's no question he could have made more money, but Keith wanted to be a Blue."

With Tkachuk locked in, St. Louis looks to get back to winning ways. The Blues finished last season with a 34-35-13 mark and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.

"I see a lot of good things happening," Tkachuk told the Canadian Press. "They're going to be very active in making this a better hockey team.

"I haven't won yet. I want to win. I'm very confident the Blues will make a statement next year."

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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