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Thrashers deal D Sopel to Montreal
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ATLANTA — The Atlanta Thrashers have traded defenseman Brent Sopel and right wing Nigel Dawes to the Montreal Canadiens for center Ben Maxwell and a fourth-round pick in this year's draft.

The 34-year-old Sopel was acquired by Atlanta last summer from the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. He has two goals and five assists in 59 games.

Dawes also was in his first season with the Thrashers. The 26-year-old has spent most of the season with the Chicago Wolves, ranking fourth in the American Hockey League with 27 goals. During his time in Atlanta, he made the team only the second in NHL history to have five black players.

The 22-year-old Maxwell has 11 goals and 29 assists in 47 games for Hamilton of the AHL. He was a second-round pick in 2006.

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