From Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Thrashers general manager Don Waddell rejected speculation the team might buy out the final year of Zhitnik’s contract.
“That’s never been talked about,” Waddell said. “We think he’ll be a big part of our future. We expect him to come back and be part of our team.”
Here is the short story from the AJC.
The Thrashers are not loaded on defense, and Zhitnik is in the final year of his contract, so buying out his final season makes little sense. Additionally, if the team were to buyout his final season, it would only draw more attention to the fact that they gave up Braydon Coburn to acquire Zhitnik.