|Monday, March 18
Updated: March 19, 11:16 PM ET
Thrashers get fourth-round pick for Ferraro
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers traded captain Ray Ferraro to the St. Louis Blues for a fourth-round draft pick Monday night, giving the 18-year veteran a chance to finish his career with a playoff team.
Ferraro, in the midst of his worst season ever with only eight goals, hasn't scored since Feb. 8. He has just 27 points in 61 games this season. The center sat out Monday night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins because the trade was imminent, Atlanta general manager Don Waddell said.
"Ray and I had a discussion some three or four weeks ago about whether he would want to go to a team," Waddell said. "He's a special player to us and to me personally because he's done so much for this organization both on and off the ice for the first three years.
"If Ray's wishes would have been to stay here and finish the year with us, certainly I would have honored that."
The Thrashers, who lost 4-2 to the Penguins, have the worst record in the NHL. The Blues are seventh in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Dallas and two ahead of Vancouver.
"I felt a rush of warmth go through me and like a nervousness and energy," Ferraro said of his reaction to the trade. "I haven't played in a playoff game in four years and I'm nervous how I'll fit in."
Even though Ferraro wanted to be traded, Waddell said the deal wouldn't have been made for anything less than a fourth-round pick, which the Thrashers got for this year's draft.
"We put a price tag on it that will help us," Waddell said. "Some people thought that was too high, because in the fourth round we still feel like we're getting a quality player. We wanted to make sure we were getting some kind of asset back."
Ferraro, 37, scored his 400th career goal Dec. 28, and is tied for 67th on the career list with 402. He missed the first two games of the season with a knee injury and has missed three other games with various ailments. The Blues will be his sixth NHL team.
"I'm certainly disappointed with the way the season went this year, both for the team and myself personally," Ferraro said. "I didn't play as well as I would have liked and I'll always be disappointed in that."
Since he's missed the playoffs the past three seasons -- including one in Los Angeles and two in Atlanta -- Ferraro has worked as an analyst for ESPN's playoff coverage. If he decides to retire, Ferraro is expected to move into that role full time.
"I'm not necessarily sure what'll happen (after the season)," Ferraro said. "But if this my last crack at it, I'm happy to get a chance to play in the playoffs."