CHICAGO — The salary purge and roster revamping of the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks continued Thursday when they sent forward Andrew Ladd to the Atlanta Thrashers.
The move came a day after Chicago traded versatile forward Kris Versteeg to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last week, Chicago dealt playoff star Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel and Ben Eager to Atlanta and shipped Colin Fraser to Edmonton.
For Ladd, who was a restricted free agent, the Blackhawks acquired defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy and a second round pick in 2011.
The 24-year-old Ladd has played on two Stanley Cup winners in his young career.
He came to the Blackhawks from Carolina in a 2008 trade for center Tuomo Ruutu. Ladd missed the first three games of the finals and then returned for the last three while playing with a fractured shoulder and torn ligaments against the Flyers. He was also on a Stanley Cup winner with Carolina in 2006.
Bowman said he talked with Ladd’s agent but no deal could be reached.
“It became apparent that it wasn’t the right mix in terms of salary and our situation here,” Bowman said. “But I certainly wished him well. He was a big part of it and a great kid, but we had to do what we had to do going forward. .. We know what our situation was and we made the move that gives us the most flexibility both in the summer and as we go into next season.”
Ladd had 37 goals and 62 assists in 184 regular-season games over parts of three seasons with the Blackhawks, including 17 goals and 21 assists last season.
In 36 playoff games for the Blackhawks over the past two seasons, he had six goals and four assists.
Vishnevskiy, 22, had two assists in five games with the Dallas Stars over the past two seasons. He spent most of last season in the American Hockey League with the Texas Stars and Chicago Wolves. He was acquired by the Thrashers from the Stars last February.
Bowman said he’d talked briefly with the agent for pricey backup goalie Cristobal Huet, who just finished the second year of a four-year, $22.45 million contract.