Flames Set for Stretch Run

Having already addressed the hole on defense with the acquisition of Michael Stone on February 20th, not much was expected to happen with the Calgary Flames heading into the March 1st deadline.

The one hole on the roster that the team might have tried to improve was at right wing, where names like Radim Vrbata, P.A. Parenteau and even Jarome Iginla had popped up in the rumour mill.

Ultimately, Brad Treliving went another route today by trading for long-term potential, as he acquired former first round pick Curtis Lazar along with Mike Kostka from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a second-round pick and maligned defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka.

Acquiring Lazar brings in a player with a high ceiling, but the 22-year-old has struggled at the NHL level early in his career.  He only has one assist in 33 games with the Senators this year, and 12 goals in 176 career games.

Capable of playing both center and right wing, expect Lazar to start on the right side in the Flames’ bottom six.  Should Ferland begin to struggle in a top six role, Lazar may get a shot at playing with the top line in hopes of sparking his offense.

The Rest of the Pack

While the Flames were hardly “all-in” at this year’s trade deadline – and rightly so – it was a relatively level-headed deadline as well for those teams near Calgary in the standings.

LA Kings

The Kings were the most active of the bunch, having made four deals over the past few weeks and seeing a bevy of assets including Dwight King and Peter Budaj leave, with Jarome Iginla and Ben Bishop coming in return.

While Bishop adds a significant boost to the Kings’ goaltending group, they now have two effective number one goaltenders in him and Jonathan Quick.  Coupling that with replacing King with Iginla, and it’s fair to say that Dean Lombardi’s group is not necessarily much different than they were a couple of weeks ago.

Edmonton Oilers

Prior to the deadline, the Oilers’ needs included a backup goalie and some depth down the middle.  While they were unable to acquire any help for Cam Talbot, they did ship out defenseman Brandon Davidson to the Montreal Canadiens for center David Desharnais.

While Desharnais has been the brunt of a lot of criticism in Montreal over the past couple of years, he is a capable playmaker who is deceptively strong on the puck and will provide a bit of a boost to the team’s forward group.  Davidson is a depth defenseman who had only played 28 games with the Oilers this year, albeit with some strong underlying numbers, so there was a marginal improvement made by Peter Chiarelli.

St. Louis Blues

The Blues are a team that more was (and probably still should be) expected of, but the only significant move made by GM Doug Armstrong was shipping dynamic blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals, with high picks being the main return.

Currently hanging onto a playoff spot but only one point up on the Kings, it’s become clear that the Blues have decided to focus on next year.  That being said, this is still a team that could do some damage in April if they can find some consistency in net.

Anaheim Ducks

While standing pat on deadline day, the Ducks made a nice move in acquiring Patrick Eaves from the Dallas Stars on Friday for a conditional second-round pick.

Eaves is playing over his head this season, having already eclipsed his career high in goals with 21 so far.  However, coming in at a one-million-dollar cap hit that expires this summer, the Ducks found value in bolstering their forward group with a true 200-foot player.

Nashville Predators

It looked for a while like the Predators were set to stand pat at the deadline, but they ended up coming in at the eleventh hour with a deal that provides them with a nice scoring boost for a very low cost.

P.A. Parenteau is a perennial name floated around at the trade deadline and is a consistent 20-goal scorer who will help Nashville on the wing.  Getting him for a low sixth-round pick makes for a worthwhile – albeit unspectacular – rental.

In Conclusion…

Ultimately, very few major deals were made across the league at this year’s deadline, and there were no major additions to teams sitting near the Flames in the standings.

Michael Stone has had a nice start to his time with the Flames, and it’s safe to assume the expectations won’t be off the charts for Curtis Lazar as he joins an already surging team.  Hopefully the young forward can find his game with the new club, and the change of scenery can allow him to help with the team’s inconsistent secondary scoring.

In the end, Flames fans should be happy that Treliving didn’t make any rash decisions one way or another, as the team now has their eyes on chasing down the Ducks and Oilers in the Pacific Division.