Habs acquire Dawes; Maxwell to Thrashers

The Montreal Canadiens, parent club of the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, announced today that the team has acquired defenseman Brent Sopel and forward Nigel Dawes (pictured) from the Atlanta Thrashers, parent club of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, in return for forward Ben Maxwell and a 4th round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Sopel will join the Canadiens tonight, while Dawes will report to Hamilton.

Dawes, 26, is currently fourth in scoring on the Chicago Wolves with 44 points in 47 games (27 goals, 17 assists). His 27 goals lead the Wolves and rank third in the AHL, and Dawes has also posted one assist in nine NHL games with Atlanta this season

Born in Winnipeg, Dawes was a fifth-round draft pick by the New York Rangers in 2003. He has played in a total of 208 career regular season games in the NHL with the Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames and Atlanta Thrashers, registering 84 career points (39 goals, 45 assists) and 43 penalty minutes.

Dawes has also accumulated 205 points (103-102-205) in 213 career AHL games with Chicago and Hartford.

A second-round draft pick (49th overall) by the Canadiens in 2006, Maxwell ranks second on AHL Hamilton with 29 assists and 40 points in 47 games, while accumulating 32 penalty minutes.

The third-year pro notched a career-high 22 goals and 58 points as a rookie for Hamilton in 2008-09 and has also appeared in 20 career NHL games with Montreal.

Sopel, 34, won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and is in his 11th NHL season. Since he first joined the NHL back in 1998-99, Sopel amassed a total of 218 regular season points (44 goals, 174 assists) in 647 regular season games with the Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and Atlanta.

He also spent parts of five seasons in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch.

A native of Calgary, Sopel was a 6th round selection, 144th overall, by the Vancouver Canucks at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.