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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Caps trade Motzko to Atlanta for Giroux

The Atlanta Thrashers called up three Chicago Wolves players, according to the American Hockey League transactions reports, Bryan Little, Colin Stuart and Joel Kwiatkowski. Blueland Blog reports they reported to Atlanta “in case they were needed. All three will play tonight… Little and Stuart fill the forward spots vacated by Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupois and Kwiatkowski steps in on defense… “ That seems to indicate the three will be returned to Chicago as the new players report to Atlanta.

Atlanta also traded Alexandre Giroux to the Washington Capitals for Joe Motzko.

Hossa and Dupois were traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a first round draft pick. The only player who I see may come to the Wolves out of this is Esposito, who was himself a first round draft pick, 20th overall, in 2007. The 19 year old currently plays for the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL.

Esposito has played in 48 games with the Remparts this season, so far. He has 26 goals and 29 points with 56 PiM. So, for the year he will probably score between 28 and 34 goals and between 33 and 40 assists. We could expect his points to be between 66 and 71 for a 60 game schedule, which is down from 79 last season and 98 points in 57 games two seasons ago.

Hockey’s Future had forecast he would join the Penguins next season and points out a groin injury he suffered.

Motzko, a 27-year-old right wing, is the leading scorer on the Hershey Bears. He has 21 goals, 27 assists and 44 PiM this season with Hershey in 48 games. In addition, he has played three games in Washington, getting an assist. Prior to this season, he had played in 255 AHL and NHL games.

Atlanta gave up Giroux, a Center. He has played in 44 games this year and has scored 19 goals with 22 assists. He has 47 PiM racked up. Giroux heads back to the Capitals organization. He was affiliated with them in the 2006-7 season in Hershey.

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