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February 7, 2011 // 12:51pm ET
Blackhawks, Thrashers talking trade

Over the summer of 2010, the Blackhawks and Thrashers made two trades that ultimately defined the current Atlanta roster. Now, the two teams may be ready to make another deal.

The ties between the two organizations run deeper than Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien and Brent Sopel. Atlanta GM Rick Dudley spent five years as a member of Chicago's front office, and assistant head coach John Torchetti won a ring with the Hawks last year.

While teams certainly scout future opponents, the Blackhawks and Thrashers rarely face each other. However, the consistency with which scouts from one of the two teams have been in attendance for the other's games this year has been noteworthy, especially as the trade deadline approaches.

Indeed, Atlanta has been represented in Chicago's press box more often than any Eastern Conference team this year, and Chicago scouts have observed a number of Atlanta contests lately.

Both teams are looking for pieces, and there could be fits on both rosters. Chicago is looking to bolster their blueline, and a deal bringing Sopel back to Chicago might not be out of the question.

Meanwhile, Dudley may have interest in some of Chicago's young forwards, most notably Jack Skille. As the Blackhawks director of player personnel, Dudley was intimately involved with the scouting of Skille at Wisconsin when he was selected seventh overall in the 2005 Draft.

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[ From the Editor ]
Visit David Pagnotta's TWITTER page for comments, analysis, breaking news & more surrounding the NHL Trade Deadline.

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