Fantasy Analysis: Chicago has dealt Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Brent Sopel and Akim Aliu to Atlanta for Marty Reasoner, Jeremy Morin, and the 24th overall draft pick and the 54th overall draft pick.
The Blackhawks get: a lot of salary relief. Probably $5.5 million when it's all said and done (Eager's contract). In Morin they get a prospect who is two or three years away, but were it not for the wait he would be a Top 20 guy on my Fantasy Prospects List. As it stands now, he's ranked 60. They also get two great picks. This all keeps the fantastic players flowing through the system. It's the Detroit philosophy and look what a franchise they've been for 20 years. In Marty Reasoner they replace John Madden on the checking line nicely.
The Thrashers get: a huge second-line winger who should be good for 55 points a season and a solid playoff warrior. But will Byfuglien still be with Atlanta in five or six years when they finally make it back to the postseason? A waste of great assets. They also add Sopel's veteran presense as a depth defenseman, an underrated agitator in Eager, and a fading prospect in Aliu.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Byfuglien should have a career year next season. That was in question in Chicago, where he would certainly bounce around from the first to the fourth line, and even on defense. In Atlanta he will always be a first or second liner - those lines just won't be as good, that's all. Eager really benefits. He could barely get into the deep Chicago lineup, but he'll get every minute of ice time that Colby Armstrong had and it says here that he'll produce more offensively - as well as, of course, PIM. I really like Eager with this move, though he does get hurt a lot so that could derail things in a hurry.
Morin was a great prospect to own, but in a lot of leagues he won't be worth owning at all now. Instead of waiting a year on him in Atlanta, you will be waiting three years or even four in Chicago. Jack Skille was going to be a full timer in the fall, it was just a matter of who's spot he will take. Now we know - Byfuglien's. So his value was going up, but it didn't actually "go" up until this deal happened. Aliu's value is helped with this move, but he is in a downward spiral and it's not like Atlanta helped Angelo Esposito out of his downward spiral.
Players this helps, in order:
4. Troy Brouwer
5. Andrew Ladd
Players this hurts, in order:
2. Clarke MacArthur