Thrashers re-sign Kozlov to $11 million deal

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ATLANTA (AP) – The Atlanta Thrashers addressed one of their most pressing offseason concerns Wednesday by re-signing forward Slava Kozlov to an $11 million, three-year contract.

The Thrashers needed to retain the high-scoring Kozlov after losing Keith Tkachuk, who was traded back to the St. Louis Blues when it became apparent he wouldn’t sign with Atlanta.

Kozlov set a career high with 80 points in 81 games last season, his fourth with Atlanta. Kozlov had 28 goals and 52 assists as the Thrashers won the Southeast Division and made their first playoff appearance.

“Very rarely are these decisions made on everything else besides money, but I think he left a little money on the table,” Thrashers general manager Don Waddell said. “He deserves a lot of credit. I think Kozzie made a good decision based on a lot of things, not just money.”

The 35-year-old Kozlov ranked second on the team in points and assists and third in goals. He also led the Thrashers with eight game-winning goals, a franchise record. Kozlov has played 15 NHL seasons, with Detroit, Buffalo and the Thrashers.

Since the start of free agency Sunday, the Thrashers have signed centers Todd White and Eric Perrin, along with defenseman Ken Klee. They also re-signed left wing Pascal Dupuis.

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