Thu, Aug 25, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Atlanta Thrashers trade Dany Heatley for Marian Hossa

AP , ATLANTA, GEORGIA

The Atlanta Thrashers acquired Slovakian forward Marian Hossa from the Ottawa Senators for Dany Heatley on Tuesday, a blockbuster deal requested by Heatley less than two years after he was blamed for an automobile crash that killed a teammate.

The teams swapped high-scoring right wingers on the same day Hossa agreed to a three-year, US$18 million contract with the Senators, avoiding salary arbitration.

The 24-year-old Heatley combined with Ilya Kovalchuk to give the Thrashers two of the NHL's most prized young players.

The Thrashers also received defenseman Greg de Vries.

Heatley's best season was 2002-2003, when he had 41 goals and 48 assists. He has been plagued by misfortune since then, most tragically when he was driving a car involved in a high-speed crash that killed teammate Dan Snyder.

Heatley went to the Thrashers a couple of weeks ago and requested the trade.

"Over the course of time, we experienced some unfortunate incidents and encountered some challenging issues," his agent, Stacey McAlpine, said in a telephone interview from Calgary. "I think it was a combination of several things that slowly, over time, led us to the decision that it might be in everybody's best interests to work together to try to find a new opportunity, a new home, a new place to play."

McAlpine said contract negotiations contributed to the decision but were not a major factor.

"Certainly, some of those issues were more important than others," he said. "Ultimately, this decision for us wasn't so much of a business decision. It was more of a life decision."

Heatley sustained a serious knee injury in the wreck that caused him to miss 51 games the following season. He returned to tally 13 goals and 12 assists in 31 games, but was injured again while playing in Switzerland during the lockout.

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