Brent Sopel, right, heads to Montreal after less than a season with the Atlanta Thrashers. ((Claus Anderson/Getty Images))

The Montreal Canadiens have added veteran depth ahead of the deadline, picking up veterans Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes from the Atlanta Thrashers.

The Canadiens announced the move Thursday through their Twitter feed. Montreal sends Ben Maxwell the other way, along with a fourth round pick in the June entry draft.

Sopel, 34, was in his first season with Atlanta after joining the club in the offseason in a multi-player trade with the Blackhawks. Sopel logged significant minutes as part of Chicago's Stanley Cup championship team last spring.

"Brent is a battler," said Montreal coach Jacques Martin. "He's more of a defensive-minded individual. He got good experience last year winning a Cup and he was a plus player this year in Atlanta."

Sopel has 44 goals and 174 assists in 647 career games, having also spent time with Vancouver, the New York Islanders and Los Angeles.

He is the second veteran added to bolster depth on the back end, after Paul Mara was re-acquired last week from Anaheim.

Dawes has spent most of this season in the American Hockey League but has played 208 NHL games in his career. In stints with New York Rangers, Phoenix, Calgary and Atlanta, he's tallied 39 goals and 45 assists.

Maxwell, 22, hasn't registered a point in 20 NHL games with Montreal over the past two seasons. He is in his third season with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL, with 11 goals and 29 assists through 47 games.