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Sharks bag brute Ben Eager in trade with Thrashers; Atlanta receives 5th round pick


James O’Brien

When a hockey player breaks The Code, they often find themselves shipped to another team as punishment for shaming their team. It happened when Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond broke one of “The Unwritten Rules” and attacked a Marcus Johansson, a player who didn’t want to fight earlier this season. The enforcer known as “PL3" never wore a New Jersey Devils sweater again after that incident.

By that logic, it’s not surprising that the Atlanta Thrashers decided to let Ben Eager go today. They traded the brutish forward to the San Jose Sharks for a fifth round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, according to sources including TSN. As you may remember, Eager received a four-game suspension for his shameful sucker punch on Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colby Armstrong.

From the Sharks perspective, they get two things: added grit and yet another former member of the 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks. That makes it two out of three for the team’s attempts to acquire players from the team that beat them in the Western Conference finals, as they added Antti Niemi and Eager while the ‘Hawks decided to match their offer sheet on Niklas Hjalmarsson.

A portly pop star once sang “Two out of three ain’t bad,” but in the case of Eager, being bad is basically the point.