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Trade pays off for both Hawks, Thrashers

Updated: June 23, 2010, 10:13 PM ET
By Pierre LeBrun

LAS VEGAS -- Kudos to Stan Bowman.

Three NHL executives I spoke to Tuesday said they didn't think the Chicago Blackhawks GM could fetch a first-round pick for Dustin Byfuglien, but he did just that Wednesday in a blockbuster deal with the Atlanta Thrashers that spelled major cap relief for the Stanley Cup champions.

OK, so the first-round pick is 24th overall -- New Jersey's pick from the Ilya Kovalchuk trade -- but it's a first-round selection nonetheless.

Under ...

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