With their second deal in two days, the slumping Atlanta Thrashers acquired rugged forward Keith Tkachukfrom the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, giving up right wing Glen Metropolit, a first-round pick in 2007 and two other draft choices.
The Thrashers paid a steep price for Tkachuk, hoping he can stop the free fall that sent them tumbling from first place to a state of desperation as they try to hang on for a spot in the playoffs.
Atlanta is one of only two franchises, along with Columbus, that has never made the postseason.
"Over the years, we've always been pretty conservative when it comes to trading away picks or prospects. We've always protected the future," Thrashers General Manager Don Waddellsaid. "Well, the future for us is now."
The Thrashers (31-23-10) have lost 9 of 11 in February.
St. Louis also gets a third-round pick in 2007 and a second-rounder in 2008. If the Thrashers re-sign Tkachuk, who turns 35 next month and can become an unrestricted free agent after the season, they'll owe the Blues another first-rounder in 2008.
On Saturday night, the Thrashers gave up top prospect and former first-rounder Braydon Coburn to acquire 34-year-old defenseman Alexei Zhitnikfrom Philadelphia.
· SOCCER:Chelsea won the English League Cup final with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in Cardiff, Wales, getting two goals from Didier Drogbaand overcoming a head injury to captain John Terry. Terry, also the captain of the English national team, was taken off the field on a stretcher after Arsenal defender Abou Diabyaccidentally kicked him in the head in the 58th minute. . . .
In Berlin, U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Kellermade several good saves to help last-place Borussia Moenchengladbach hold Werder Bremen to a 2-2 tie in the Bundesliga. . . . In Milan, Inter Milan won its 17th straight game in the Italian league, defeating Catania, 5-2. . . . In Madrid, Barcelona moved two points ahead of Sevilla in the Spanish league after stopping Athletic Bilbao, 3-0.
· CYCLING:Levi Leipheimerwon the Tour of California in Long Beach, having never trailed in the eight-day race. Leipheimer, a three-time top-10 Tour de France finisher, completed the 639.2-mile race with a 21-second advantage over Jens Voigtof Germany.
· TENNIS: Tommy Haassuccessfully defended his title in the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, beating Andy Roddick, 6-3, 6-2, in Memphis. The 28-year-old German won his sixth straight final and 11th title overall, becoming only the second three-time winner here. . . . Unseeded Mikhail Youzhnyeasily beat third-seeded Ivan Ljubicic, 6-2, 6-4, to win the ABN Amro title in Rotterdam.
· PRO FOOTBALL:Quarterback A.J. Feeleysigned a three-year contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles as starter Donovan McNabbrecovers from knee surgery and backup JeffGarcia likely enters free agency. Feeley, who rejoined the team before last season, extended his contract through 2010.
· BASS FISHING:In Birmingham, Boyd Duckettbecame the first angler in Bassmaster Classic history to win the title in his home state, taking the $500,000 top prize by six ounces with a three-day total of 48 pounds, 10 ounces.
· HARNESS RACING:Trotting Triple Crown winner Glidemaster was chosen harness racing's 2006 Horse of the Year. Glidemaster, who set a trotting single-season record of $1.9 million in earnings, also was voted best 3-year-old colt trotter and trotter of the year.
-- From News Services