ANAHEIM, CA - FEBRUARY 08:  Goaltender Vesa Toskala #35 of the Anaheim Ducks warms up prior to  their NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Honda Center on February 8, 2010 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Kings 4-2.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

No team in the entire league did as badly at the trade deadline as Darryl Sutter’s Calgary Flames.  Sutter pulled the trigger on three different deals, all of which aspire to reach the lofty heights of mediocrity.

The least odious of the three moves saw Sutter send young depth forward Dustin Boyd to Nashville for a fourth round draft pick.  Sutter said that Boyd was simply “pushed out,” which is an asinine thing to say when players like Jamal Mayers and Brian McGrattan are supposedly doing the pushing.  Boyd’s young, dirt cheap, and the Predators didn’t spend much to pick him up.

The next move was a total head-scratcher.  Unsatisfied with Curtis McElhinney and his mediocre-to-bad performances in net, Sutter went out and traded him for Vesa Toskala, whose most remarkable quality is that he’s one of the few goaltenders in the league with inferior numbers to McElhinney.  He hasn’t posted decent numbers since prior to the NHL lockout, and he comes with one other minor disadvantage: he makes nearly eight times as much money as the player the Flames sent away.  At best it was a wasteful transaction.

Sutter saved his worst move for last, however.  His divisional rivals in Edmonton have spent a ton of money on some questionable veterans, and one of them was Steve Staios.  I like Staios as much as I like any current NHL player; he works hard, he gives his all, and he doesn’t cut any corners.  Unfortunately, he’s (at best) a third pairing defenceman at this stage of his career, and his cap hit is $2.7 million both this year and next season as well.  Sutter valued him highly enough to surrender a dirt cheap pending free agent in Aaron Johnson along with a third round pick, helping Steve Tambellini salvage what had to that point been a highly disappointing day.

It was a lousy day for the Flames.

Comments (16)

  1. Being a Canuck fan has never been better.

  2. @Jonathan – I have lost interest in this season because of these deals… not that they are that bad over the course of this year, just that I am fed up with Sutter’s crap and complete disregard for cap management moving forward to next year. It is beyond annoying as a die hard fan, feels like my parents have a gambling addiction and bet the farm… and lost. Only difference is that when you gamble you have a CHANCE TO WIN!

  3. @Kerry – Problem is it will never be better moving forward either, as you folks are not cup contenders despite what people in Vancouver might be dreaming! And the fact you have never won a cup should really serve to keep gloating to a minimum. Win something meaningful, then chirp all you want. As a Flames fan I can point out our shortcomings, however any attempt from a Vancouver fan to rip on the Flames is laughable at best! You are built around Europeans, and are a joke of a franchise imo! The Leafs will win a cup before you! ahaha!

  4. Who knows? Maybe Vesa Toskala is going to get red-hot and suddenly contend for the Vezina, and Staios will start lighting the lamp every night. Maybe Sutter saw something we did not?

    Nah, he’s gone insane. As a Flames fan, I was just flat out confused by the deals made here.

  5. I was suprised Vancouver was unwilling to make a deal to get better. While their top 6 forwards have been playing well with the exception of the Sedins the rest of them (Burrows, Kesler, Demitra, Raymond) are all guys who have inconsistent offensive games. Not to mention injuries to their two most important D men Bieksa and Mitchell. When your shutdown defenceman go down near the end of the season you have to make a move to shore up your defence. The window is closing on Vancouver because Luongo is 30 now and the Sedins are getting to 30. Also Kesler and Burrows aren’t going to stay at a reasonable price forever.

    I’m an Oiler diehard and I FEEL BAD for the Flames. Sutter’s moves yesterday really confused me. If they were looking for a decent backup for Kiprusoff they could have found someone better. If they were willing to part with a 3rd rounder for Staios you wonder why they weren’t willing to give up a draft pick for a backup goaltender. Also in dealing Dustin Boyd it feels like Sutter is moving all prospects and developing young players in favor of aging veterans. If it wasn’t a lesson already learned in Detroit you shouldn’t ice an old hockey club. The experience is there yes but you also need youth, speed, and athleticism, which Calgary has allowed to walk away ie. Cammalleri, Phaneuf, etc. If Edmonton screws up the draft this year both Alberta clubs should overhaul their management and scouting teams as neither club has managed their clubs well or drafted particularly well either

  6. @ Kerry- I hope you finally find being a Canucks fan bearable, since you’ve been living with the disapointment with an almost-but-not-quite level of Stanley Cup contendership for years. It’s pretty sad when the downfall of other franchises is the only thing keeping you going……

  7. I’m not sure why the Canucks have entered into the conversation at all (who probably aren’t winners or losers at this deadline), as this is about the Flames. TSN is really trying to sell the Staios deal as a positive for the Flames. True, I think hockey-wise, he adds a bit, but I don’t think it’s enough to warrant 2.7M for another season. The Boyd deal was a major puzzler – everyone knows the Flames need offense, which they addressed earlier with the Phaneuf deal. But even then, most would agree that they could still use some more offense to play with the big boys – trading Boyd for barely anything doesn’t help that at all. It’ll be a big time battle for 8th place (and maybe 7th).

  8. I have to disagree on the toskala front, he isn’t worse the mchilenny, thats impossible. with mchilenny, i expected them to lose every time he played. Now, that may still be the case with Vesa, but the big difference is they dont have to pay Vesa next year where as Mcbackup still has a year left on a one way contract. Do not mind that trade at all. Other then that thugh, being a flames fan sucks right now. We’re Kipper away from being the oilers. Well maybe not, but close enough. Probably won’t make the playoffs this year, and I’m to the point where I wouldn’t mind if it means Daryll gets the boot. The Flames are in a position where they aren’t good, have no chance of getting good for next year really, and Daryll keeps making awful trades. (I’m actually a fan of the Phaneuf trade, but the Kotalik deal still stings)

  9. If you are a team competing for a play-off spot, I don’t understand how you trade for players on the 29th and 30th ranked teams…Doesnt make sense at all.

  10. The Sutter math that says that Staios is worth dealing a third rounder away but Boyd is only worth a 4th is mind boggling. I can’t believe Darryl Sutter got fleeced by Steve Tambellini, of all people. I would not be shocked if the Flames have to seriously consider buying Staios out this summer.

  11. I won’t be abel to say whether it was a full on win or lose for calgary until after we’ve seen some games played, but as a loyal flames fan, i can see what Darryl’s trying to achieve. He has put together on papaer teams over the last few years which should be contenders, should be hard to stop and difficult to score against, and this year especially should be defensive giants. The result is a bunch of expensive players not seeming to care. Outside of the november push, the team as a whole has seemed to lack give-a-damn. Toskala is a good pick if you want to give the players a back up they feel gives them a shot, Mchilenny just never commanded that respect so he couldn’t stay. Staios is to address leadership and heart, which no one can argue he brings. The Flames veteran leadership group has been absent. No one can light a fire in that room and so he’s hoping Staios can. Personally I cant wait for some guys to be gone for their lack of true leadership *cough* conroy *cough*. And I’m hoping Iggy is wearing an “A” next year until he can prove he commands the “C”

  12. As for dustin boyd, im neither here nor there, it doesnt seem to make any sense, but i dont think it helps or hinders as Boyd has not been a key part of really any games this year.

  13. I agree with Danny, Staois is there to motivate and lead an uninspired, unmotivated team that’s experienced a lot of turnover and felling the pressure of having Iggy and Kipper around for years and never getting past the first round.

  14. As a canuck fan i was a little disappointed that Gillis didn’t address our need on the back end… I live in Prince George, BC and i had the pleasure of watchin Dan Hamius play here with the Cougars and i know full well he would be a solid peice in the canucks stanley cup assperations. That being said i’m sure that Nashville was not willing to let him walk for a minor package, so gillis did what he should have done and pushed back from the table. Th asking price for big minute d-men is often much higher in march than at the draft. Gillis is trying to build our organtizion through the draft anf keepin his core together through smart contract negotiations ie. Burrows for 2 million. I think that with the twins and lou locked up and the emergance of kesler, burrows,and raymond we are looking solid. GIllis is also developing a decent pool of top prospects and will use corey schnieder to adress our lack of young defensive depth

  15. well straight up im basking at the fact the leafs traded 4 parts of a losing team for 2 parts of a winning team i was only sad to see ian white go. All Calgary fans miss roman turek right about now hes definately a better back-up than vesa tosk”hole”a. well no sea of red in this years playoffs.

  16. actually trade season for the Leafs should be called “how to rip off the flames in 60 sec.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *