2/10/2007 12:57:22 PM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CP) - The Nashville Predators picked up the veteran defenceman they were seeking Saturday when they sent centre Eric Belanger to the Atlanta Thrashers for defenceman Vitaly Vishnevski.
The trade was the second in two days for Belanger, who was acquired by Nashville from the Carolina Hurricanes for centre Josef Vasicek.
The Thrashers also claimed forward Denis Hamel on waivers from Ottawa.
Vishnevski, 26, has three goals and nine assists in 52 games for Atlanta this season while earning US$1.55 million.
Although he'll be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, Vishnevski brings a much needed boost of experience to a Nashville blue-line corps stocked with talented youngsters like Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Dan Hamhuis.
"With Vishnevski, we are adding a big, strong, physical defenceman with over 400 NHL games of experience and two deep runs into the post-season," said Predators general manager David Poile. "We have been carrying 15 forwards on the roster for most of the season. This gives us some veteran depth on the blue-line and gives our roster more balance."