As you’ve all probably heard by now, the Atlanta Thrashers have acquired Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart from the Boston Bruins for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik. While Rich was a fan-favorite here in Atlanta, you have to think that we got the better end of the deal on this one.
I bet that last night, Rich Peverley didn’t know he’d score his last goal as an Atlanta Thrasher. I know it came as a surprise to me. After the rumors of Bergfors and Bogosian hitting the bricks, it was “Pevs”. I’ve always like the guys attitude and was a great team player, but sometimes, you have to give up good things to receive better things. Along with Peverley, Atlanta sent off Boris Valabik, who has been an on/off player and never really settled his feet in the NHL. The Bruins pick up Rich in a mediocre season for the center. Thus far, he has tallied 14 goals, 20 assists, but a +/- rating of -16. It’ll be interesting to see what he’s able to do in Boston.
Now to our new Thrashers. Blake Wheeler was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes, but neglected to sign with them, eventually placing him in Boston. Wheeler was a 20+ goal scorer in his rookie season and has slowly decreased his totals in the last couple years. Let’s hope he can pick up the pace with his new team. So far, this season, he has 11 goals, 16 assists, and a +/- rating of 8. He’s a big guy(6’5) with some moves, so I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be a dynamic player. Along with Blake, we’ve received defenseman Mark Stuart, another first round pickup(2003 NHL draft). Although he’s probably not the big defenseman we’re looking for, he’s got great talent and can hopefully pick up the slack produced by our current blue-line crew. This season, Mark has 1 goal, 4 assists, and a terrific +/- rating of 8, which could mean a great deal to us.
All in all, I really like this transaction and can’t wait to see what these two young players produce for the team. Surely this won’t be the last move made by Rick Dudley, but it sure was an interesting start to the process. Again, it’s sad to see Peverley go. I think I speak for all of Blueland when I say, “Good luck Rich and thank you for your time and duty in Atlanta! You’ll be missed!”.