By Sean Gallagher
Â The inevitable finally happened this morning as the Blues traded Keith Tkachuk to Atlanta for a 1st round pick and a 3rd round pick in 2007, a 2nd round pick in 2008 and Glen Metropolit.Â There is also a conditional pick coming to St. Louis if big Walt decides to sign with the Thrashers this summer.
Tkachuk joins old buddy Scott Mellanby in Georgia and has already noted that he'll be asked to play center on a team already loaded with scoring wingers in Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk and a solid Slava Kozlov.
Atlanta is currently the sixth seed in the East, but they are only one point behind division-leading Tampa Bay and therefore one point back from the third seed.Â Thrashers GM Don Waddell clearly hopes that the acquisition of Tkachuk and Alexei Zhinik yesterday will put them ahead of the Lightning.
The Blues have added another 1st round pick, which everyone knew was a starting place for a Tkachuk trade, and add two later picks over the next two years. If Tkachuk re-signs with the Thrashers then the Blues get another conditional pick added to the deal.
Metropolit is a utility-type forward who can play either side or as the pivot.Â He's on pace for about 15 goals this year which will be his career high by quite a bit.
Up next, clearly, is the impending Bill Guerin trade.Â Rumors are that Anaheim and Detroit are in a two-team bidding war for his services.