After they shipped out Dion Phaneuf and Olli Jokinen in two of the marquee trades this season, the Flames bartered with four other clubs at Wednesday’s trade deadline in markedly less significant deals.
In an historic deal that marked the first ever trade between Alberta rivals Calgary and Edmonton, the Oilers sent Steve Staios to the Flames for Aaron Johnson and a future third-round draft choice. Staios, a gritty veteran with solid wheels for his age, joins a remade defense corps that now features Staios, new acquisition Ian White, first-year Flame Jay Bouwmeester, the emergent Mark Giordano, the ever-solid Robin Regehr and the dependable Cory Sarich.
Sutter praised Staios’s leadership ability and grit, saying that he expects the veteran rearguard to fill in gaps left by the turnover of experienced players Calgary has experienced in recent seasons.
Staios, 36, shared Sutter’s excitement about what he could add to the Calgary playoff push.
“It’s been a while since I’ve played some meaningful games,” Staios told TSN. “With the chance of getting into the playoffs and getting onto a roll with this team, I’m just thrilled. I have the experience of going through these types of situations … I’ll lay it on the line and see if we can’t put this team over the edge.”
Staios was mostly dismissive of the significance of being the first player to go from one Alberta club to another but did express enduring admiration for the Flames organization.
“I couldn’t say this when I was with the Oilers, but I have a high respect level for the team, the Calgary Flames. A lot of high-character guys,” Staios told the Calgary Herald. “Everyone plays with a little bit of an edge, with a little bit of grit. You knew you were in a game when you played against them. That’s probably the biggest compliment that you can have. I hope guys feel like that when they play against me.”
Staios is set to earn $2.7 million this year and in 2010-2011.
“(Toskala) is an experienced goaltender and we just felt with the schedule–the density of it and Kipper playing in the Olympics–and Curtis not having a great year we just wanted someone with some experience,” Sutter told Rogers Sportsnet.
Kiprusoff and Toskala played together in the San Jose system early in their careers.
“I’ve played with him in the minors earlier and I’ve known him for a long time, so it’s good to see him here,” Kiprusoff said. “I know he’s a pretty good goalie so he can help us out.”
Toskala is due the balance of a $4 million salary this year and becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Calgary also shipped Dustin Boyd to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a fourth-round draft selection. Boyd racked up 19 points in 60 games this season and appeared on his way to a new career high (his previous being 22 points last season). General manager Darryl Sutter said that with all the turnover on the Flames roster, Boyd has been lost in the shuffle in recent weeks.
“I don’t think he is a fourth-line player. He is a natural centerman and we found a place for him,” Sutter told Rogers Sportsnet.
In a minor move, the Flames also swapped AHL players with the Detroit Red Wings, sending winger Riley Armstrong in exchange for veteran Andy Delmore. Armstrong posted 19 points and 55 PIM in 38 games with Abbotsford. Delmore has played in parts of seven NHL seasons, posting 101 points in 283 games. He spent the past two seasons playing in Germany for the Hamburg Freezers before joining Detroit’s AHL affiliate, Grand Rapids, where he has 20 points in 54 contests this year.