Calgary Pressed the Trade Button
How the trades broke down on the first and second day as follows.
To Calgary: C Rob Niedermayer and the 56th overall pick in the 2nd round (G) Andrei Medvedev
To: Florida: RW Valeri Bure and C/LW Jason Wiemer
To Calgary: G Roman Turek and the 124th overall pick in the fourth round (LW) Egor Shastin
To: St.Louis: G Freddy Braithwaite, C Daniel Tkaczuk, LW Sergei Varlamov, and the 270th overall pick in the 9th round (C) Grant Jacobsen.
To Calgary: Dean McAmmond
To Philadelphia: Calgary’s 4th round pick in 2002 Entry Draft.
Three trades at the draft completely reshaped the Flames into a defensive unit with a couple of two-way players whom could solve their desperate penalty killing units. Overall both trades on the first day established two things for the Flames next season a reliable and legitimate number one goaltender who can play 65-70 games a year and a two-way second line center with size and speed.
So what in reality did Calgary actually give up well now the two forwards leaving cow town both take with them some baggage but each were skilled in their own right. The diminutive Val Bure is an exceptionally talented scoring winger whom could dazzle you with his flash and dash but had difficulty bying into a team concept if it did not fit his own purpose. There is no reason if he is healthy and happy that he cannot put up 60-70 points a year and is a complete menace on the power play. Bruising forward Jason Wiemer has little offensive upside with averaging only 10 goals over the last four seasons but his defensive game is respectable enough to warrant good ice time. A complete terror to play against and will add a element of toughness to any lineup regardless of whom he faces but he is a replaceable part none the less. So they gave up a second line sniper with offensive punch that did not care about the team and a tough third line checker that’s not afraid to get his nose dirty.
The other side of the coin they gained a solid two-way second line center that can win face-offs and kill penalties. With increased ice time and a change of scenery Rob should have no problem producing 50 points next season which will not replace Bure’s numbers but his size and defensive play could make up for it. Now the other part of the deal brought a prospect goaltender that is know as the Gump Worsely of the Russia. If this goalie turns out to be a player in the league even as a back up it evens the trade out for Craig Button or gives him fodder for another trade in the future.
Looking at the second trade opened up a whole other can of worms for the Calgary faithful in that one of the team’s most popular players got shipped out. But besides that they only lost a backup goalie that had problems playing more than 40 games on a consistent basis and had multiple chances to establish him as a number one goalie. The lost to the fans might be great but to the team he is a replaceable part that could not get the job done for long all. To his credit he could come off the bench and play in a four game stretch and give the team a quick boost but that’s the best you would ever get. Interestingly the two prospects would most likely had little impact on the team next season since Sergei Varlamov did not have a very solid shot at making the team full time even with his recent success in Saint John. The other Daniel Tkaczuk might have stuck the whole year but most likely played a lesser role than in the AHL and could not have contributed enough to help this team make the playoff’s. Both have potential in the right situation but neither would give the experience needed to make a honest effort for the playoff’s, the 9th rounder is of no substance.
Finally the Flames organization has a netminder who can play 65 games a year and has enough experience to help put the team in a spot for the playoffs. Even with his severe drop in play in the Conference Final he does have the tools to be an established number one for years to come. Coming to Calgary he leaves one kind of pressure to another however his only concern is to give his team a chance to get points every night.
One particular bonus for Roman is he will have guidance from two of the most successful goalies of all time. Hopefully Grant Fuhr and Mike Vernon can mentor Roman by leading him down a path that has never been traveled before and that is confidence. The other addition to the Flames came in a fourth round pick Egor Shastin who could replace Varlamov on the farm team in the near future.
The last transaction of the weekend brought in speedy left-winger Dean McAmmond from Philly who brings with him an honest two-way game. He does not possess offensive talent but he is versatile and can play all three forward positions if needed. The most to expect from him is a good third line penalty killer that could amass 30-40 points in a season. But most of all he will not hurt you with stupid plays and plays responsible in both ends. Next year with Dean in the line up it will provide Greg Gilbert and company with the options to have two excellent penalty units and checking lines that can help reduce the goals against dramatically.
All in all the Calgary Flames to steps in the right direction to bring a competitive hard working team that might have a good chance of securing the eight spot in the conference come playoff time. Now was the time for Craig Button to make a statement and mold the team as he see’s fit and he took the ball and ran with it so we will all see if ends up in the end zone or not.