- Scott Burnside, NHL
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The Atlanta Thrashers may not have a lot going for them, but GM Don Waddell did manage to lock in the best available defensemen on the market on Wednesday's Day 2 of free agency.
The team reached a five-year, $22.5-million deal with former Columbus Blue Jackets blueliner Ron Hainsey, who has terrific upside because of his size (6 foot 3, 209 pounds) and his puck-handling ability.
"Ron is one of the best young defensemen in free agency and we're very happy to be adding a player of his caliber to our lineup," Waddell said.
"He moves the puck well, has good offensive capabilities and is a solid all-around defenseman who has taken significant strides with his game over the last few seasons."
Hainsey may not have matured defensively (he was a combined minus-26 the past two seasons in Columbus), but he's only 27.
In Atlanta, which finished in a tie for last in goals-allowed per game last season, Hainsey will be expected to log big minutes and help out a power play that was 23rd in the league in 2007-08.
Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.
11dScott Burnside and Craig Custance