Thrashers lock up Kapanen to multiyear contract

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers gave up two players for
Niko Kapanen. It wasn't surprising that they locked up the
center to a multiyear contract on Thursday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Thrashers acquired Kapanen along with a seventh-round pick
from the Dallas Stars for center Greg Stefan and defenseman
Jaroslav Modry last month.

The 28-year-old Kapanen had his best campaign with the Stars
last season, recording career highs of 14 goals and 35 points in
81 games. He added one assist in five postseason contests.

Kapanen will replace Stefan, who was a bust with the Thrashers
after being picked first overall in the 1999 draft. Stefan
scored just 10 goals and 24 points in 64 games with the
Thrashers last season.

Kapanan won a silver medal with Finland at the Torino Olympics
last February, recording two goals and an assist in eight games.
He also earned a silver medal at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

A sixth-round pick in 1998, Kapanen played in 239 games over
four seasons with the Stars and recorded 20 goals and 56