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Friday, November 1
Chicago sends Nylander, picks to Washington

Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks acquired center Andrei Nikolishin and left wing Chris Simon from the Washington Capitals for center Michael Nylander and a third-round draft pick Friday.

Fri., Nov. 1
With Theo Fleury and Eric Daze out, Chicago just got bigger and stronger, adding the type of player that coach Brian Sutter likes. Chris Simon has not been playing great in Washington over the last few years, and Andrei Nikolishin can make plays offensively and is also good defensively.

Washington has been struggling and needed to changes things a bit. Michael Nylander gives the Capitals some speed. The deal should be a spark for both teams. Certainly, though, Simon has a huge upside for the Blackhawks.

The 29-year-old Nikolishin has not played this season because of a contract dispute. He has 58 goals and 113 assists in 407 games with Washington.

The 30-year-old Simon has played six seasons in Washington. He has two assists and 23 penalty minutes in 10 games this year.

Chicago general manager Mike Smith said the trade added toughness to the Blackhawks' lineup. Nikolishin is 6-foot-3, 213 pounds, and Simon is 6-4, 235.

"We've known since the second half of last season that we needed to add playing toughness to our top three lines,'' Smith said. "Nikolishin is a top defensive center who will complement our top offensive centers. Simon is a top-line player who commands physical respect.''

Nylander, 30, had four points in nine games with Chicago this season. He had a career-high 46 assists last season, and had 25 goals and 64 points in 2000-01.

"He's an offensive player who handles the puck well and can distribute the puck,'' Washington general manager George McPhee said. "We have guys who can score, but we need someone to get them the puck.''

The Capitals also receive a conditional third-round pick in 2004.

Also Friday, the Blackhawks sent winger Louie DeBrusk to Norfolk of the AHL. He played in four games for the Blackhawks this year with no points and seven penalty minutes.

Meanwhile, the Capitals recalled center Brian Sutherby from Portland of the AHL. Defenseman Sylvain Cote was reassigned to Portland.

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