Hawks, Canes swap defensemen

The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Danny Richmond along with a fourth-round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Anton Babchuk and a 4th round pick in 2007.

"Danny Richmond is a kid with a lot of passion for the game," said Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon. "He is a skilled defenseman who possesses a lot of grit and toughness. He definitely is the type of player who fits in with the type of team we are trying to build in Chicago."

Richmond, 21, was selected last week to play in the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic. The Chicago native was originally Carolina’s second-round pick (31st overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft out of the University of Michigan, where he was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team that season.

This season, Richmond has split time between Carolina and Lowell in the American Hockey League. For Carolina, Richmond appeared in 10 games and had one assist with seven penalty minutes. For Lowell, he appeared in 32 games, scoring four goals while adding 11 assists for 15 points with 60 penalty minutes.

Richmond was a gold medalist with the United States at the 2004 World Junior Championships.

Anton Babchuk was an AHL All-Star as a rookie in 2004.

Babchuk, 21, was the Blackhawks’ first-round pick (21st overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He had appeared in 24 games for Norfolk in the American Hockey League this year, scoring five goals and adding seven assists for 12 points.

"Anton is a big, strong defenseman who will add depth to our blue line," said Jim Rutherford, Hurricanes president and GM. "He is a former first-round pick, and he is a complement to the defensemen we now have in our organization."

He was recalled by the Blackhawks twice this season and played a total of 17 games, scoring two goals while adding three assists for five points.

Babchuk was an AHL All-Star in 2004.