Boston Bruins acquire Rich Peverley from Atlanta Thrashers in four-player deal

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BOSTON - The Boston Bruins acquired centre Rich Peverley and a prospect in a four-player deal with Atlanta on Friday.

In return, the Thrashers received defenceman Mark Stuart and forward Blake Wheeler.

Peverley will help fill a hole in the middle of Boston's offence since Marc Savard was knocked out of the season with a concussion.

The six-foot, 200-pound forward has 14 goals and 20 assists in 59 games with Atlanta this season.

Peverley, 28, has 56 goals and 88 assists in 253 career games with Atlanta and Nashville.

Boston also received prospect defenceman Boris Valabik. The 25-year-old has nine assists in 49 games with the AHL's Chicago Wolves this season. Valabik has seven assists in 80 career NHL games with Atlanta.

Stuart, 26, heads to Atlanta with one goal and four assists in 31 games with Boston this year. The 6-2, 213-pound defenceman has 13 goals and 27 assists in 283 games with the Bruins.

Wheeler, 24, has 11 goals and 16 assists in 58 games with Boston. The 6-5, 205-pound forward has 50 goals and 60 assists in 221 career games.

Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley said the trade for Wheeler and Stuart improves the team "in both the short and long term."

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