No Jok-inen, deal is official

RossCreekNation
February 02 2010 12:19AM

                  

The Calgary Flames have traded F Olli Jokinen and F Brandon Prust to the New York Rangers for F Chris Higgins and F Ales Kotalik.

In what has to be considered one of the most bizarre trades in recent history (the trade itself and they way in which it went down), the Flames send a guy they paid a premium for less than a year ago (Matthew Lombardi, Brandon Prust & a 1st round pick) to New York for a guy that has been written off by the Rangers and been a healthy scratch for eight of the last nine games. They also trade Prust for the second time in less than a year, something I'm not overly impressed with.

Kotalik, 31, is a PP specialist and can replace Dion Phaneuf's shot from the point. He's also known as a shootout specialist, something I suppose the Flames could use. But that's about all he brings to the table. And he's also under contract for two more years at $3 million per. Given the fact that Jokinen's $5.25 million contract was coming off the books this summer, I can't figure out why Flames GM Daryl Sutter would make this trade. But with the surplus of forwards now on the roster, one would think Sutter's not done dealing. Perhaps he flips Kotalik?

Higgins, 26, is a former first round pick of the Habs, and had three 20 goal seasons before an injury filled campaign last year that seemingly derailed his career. He's probably best suited in a two-way 3rd line role. A UFA at season's end, the hope is Higgins can find his game in Calgary.

While Jokinen has essentially been a bust in the Western Conference, he gets a shot at redemption with the return to the East. Thankfully, the Flames replaced him with a better Finn yesterday in Niklas Hagman.

Prust is the guy I'm gonna miss. He's a 4th line energy guy that will take on all comers and from what I understand, was a well-liked teammate. I was sad to see him leave at last year's deadline, happy to see him return in the summer, and am once again disappointed to see him leave. I guess this shows why they got Jamal Mayers yesterday.

Strange deal, in my opinion. One I'm not quite sure is done yet. Aside from the PP option, I see no reason why the Flames would bring in Kotalik. He doesn't fit the profile of a Sutter-type player at all, something a guy like Hagman indeed does. It makes no sense. Is there another shoe to drop? With 13 wingers - Iginla, Hagman, Bourque, Boyd, Lundmark, Higgins, Kotalik, Glencross, Nystrom, Mayers, McGrattan, Dawes, Moss - something's got to give.

Alex Ruiz Trade Comments

Calgary television host/writer/producer Alex Ruiz got some comments from both Jokinen and Prust. She had them posted on her twitter account. You should definitely follow her!

JOKINEN - "You play for that sweater, that logo. Until they tell you you're not part of the team, and they just told me I'm not part of the team... It comes with the salary - you make 5 million, 11 goals not going to cut it. It's definitely a slap in the face to get traded... Going back to the Eastern Conference is exciting - Original 6 team... Opened my Flames career playing against Philly, and closed the book doing the same, it's pretty crazy."

PRUST - "Calgary's become my home and I'll always respect the city and the organization... This is the ugly side, have to make the best of it... It was definitely tough - my phone was ringing off the hook last night... You're waiting to hear confirmation, pacing around for hours, definitely didn't sleep too well... You come out here, you have to get focused, help your team get two points, but we're professionals. It's done now."

Olli with some audio comments. Nice pic.

B86f958f55fc25c5fcc990b8ac2c9283
A hockey-crazed Flames fan living in Oil Country, he was born & raised to hate the Oilers from day 1. Since he couldn't cut it as a player, and his dream jobs of 'NHL Insider', NHL General Manager, or Snoop Dogg 'advisor' aren't currently options, a lifetime of "internetting" awaits. For the latest hockey talk, along with all kinds of Flames & Oilers chatter, you can follow on twitter.com/RossCreekNation.
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#1 b1ackhat
February 02 2010, 01:19AM
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Longest (and best) article from you to date RC. I have to say this site is coming along nicely of late!

I'm with you - this trade makes no sense.

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#2 roughneck
February 02 2010, 01:40AM
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That room must have been absolutely brutal.

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#5 logan
February 02 2010, 03:45AM
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one word ugh

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#6 Arik
February 02 2010, 08:40AM
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@RossCreekNation

My full thoughts are here

But they can be summarized as such: the bizarre way in which this deal happened says nothing to me but "more coming". The fact that the deal was held until after the game says that Sutter didn't want on or both of the players dressing for one game only then getting shipped elsewhere on an off day (today).

Also, they're still not on the online roster.

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#7 roughneck
February 02 2010, 09:22AM
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@Arik

Solid piece you wrote. Kotalik has Calgary as one of 3 no go places and the hockey world knows it, not inconceivable that he waived it because hes not coming here, not unlike POS in edmonton being a cane for 26 seconds.

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#8 b1ackhat
February 02 2010, 10:48AM
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roughneck wrote:

Solid piece you wrote. Kotalik has Calgary as one of 3 no go places and the hockey world knows it, not inconceivable that he waived it because hes not coming here, not unlike POS in edmonton being a cane for 26 seconds.

Agreed it is a great article.

Let's hope that Kotalik has something to do with an 11 team mega trade that includes Kovalchiuk coming this way.

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#10 Wanye
February 02 2010, 11:26AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Evolution of Phaneuf trade

Burke called Calgary general manager Darryl Sutter and asked about Phaneuf’s availability in November. He was told, quite clearly, that the defenceman was not available. The two general managers spoke regularly — as most GMs do — over the past months but something changed less than two weeks ago. Burke was talking to Sutter on the phone when the conversation shifted. “He said: ‘I might move a defenceman.’ My ears perked up at that,” Burke said.

WHOA WHOA WHOA

Let me get this straight. GM's are in regular contract with one another?

*Looks at shrine to Steve Tambellini in the corner and wonders what could have been*

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#11 olderthendirt
February 02 2010, 11:52AM
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Now, who won out all these moves. Is Calgary better, worse or the same. If the Flames didn't get much better then they are big losers. Toronto seems to have improves, the Ducks the same. The Rangers get Prust, this should help the team far more then the 2 players they unloaded. Maybe Calgary is trying for a high draft choice. O right they gave them away. No move is better then a bad move. Maybe this is like the Brett Hull deal, short term gain (maybe) for long time pain.

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#13 Arik
February 02 2010, 01:01PM
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@RossCreekNation

No numbers assigned. Also, the "article" on the Flames website about the trade talks about Higgins being a 20 goal scorer 3 times but barely mentions Kotalik. It's pretty bare bones.

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#17 roughneck
February 02 2010, 01:19PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

*toes, arms, legs, eyes all crossed, waiting...*

I dont blame you. I understand the room clean and the removal of the dissidents to prop up Iginla in the room. Beyond that.. not so much.

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#18 b1ackhat
February 02 2010, 01:39PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Courtesy of Boomer... Ales Kotalik's flight out of NYC cancelled. Coincidence, or something cooking?

I wonder if his whole flight cancelled or just his?

Attention passangers: Ales Kotalik's trade destination remains uncertain so we are cancelling United Flight 5040 to Calgary. Please see a booking agent to get onto another flight.

LOL

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#19 Arik
February 02 2010, 01:40PM
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From Alex Ruiz: #Flames cancel 2 appearances today: Kipper & McElhinney @ DeWinton elmtry school & Johnson & Boyd's 6pm Pond Hockey game

There's got to be another trade coming. No, I am not delusional. I swear. I hope.

On another note, a large tax return plus leave is making a trip to YYC (for the first time!) possible. The question is- will it be worth it to see the Flames? And will anyone hang out with me?

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#20 FlameKotalik
February 02 2010, 01:41PM
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I love this deal as an Oiler fan. I mean sure Kotalik is soft as butter, marginally effective on the pp, and wants nothing to do with Calgary, but at least he's locked up for 3 years! Lovin this deal as an Oiler fan!

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#21 FlameKotalik
February 02 2010, 01:44PM
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I also love seeing all the hopeful Flames fans anxiously waiting for the other shoe to drop with Kotalik.....it AINT GONNA DROP! lol face it, Sutter is guessing at this point.

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#22 b1ackhat
February 02 2010, 01:56PM
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From McKenzie on Twitter: "For conspiracy theorists who believe Kotalik's delayed flight is part of grand scheme to flip, relax. He's actually having flight issues."

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#23 Arik
February 02 2010, 02:05PM
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There is nothing relaxing about that Tweet. Absolutely nothing.

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#26 rubbertrout
February 02 2010, 02:59PM
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Ales Kotalik is a Flame? I love it!

*assuming it is Christmas rubbertrout runs downstairs to see what other presents Santa Claus has left for the Oilers--what's this? A a paper bag? And it's on fire?

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#27 Zoom15
February 02 2010, 03:02PM
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Man there is a flurry of trade rumors today. Exciting!

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#28 tlbeast99
February 02 2010, 03:14PM
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Wanye wrote:

WHOA WHOA WHOA

Let me get this straight. GM's are in regular contract with one another?

*Looks at shrine to Steve Tambellini in the corner and wonders what could have been*

i dont think Tambo has figured out how to text with the rotary phone he has in his office.....as an oil fan ( and a secret flames booster ) dont hate Sutter to much, the second trade was brutal but you could be stuck with what we got.....Sweet F$&$^$k all........

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#29 rubbertrout
February 02 2010, 04:17PM
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tlbeast99 wrote:

i dont think Tambo has figured out how to text with the rotary phone he has in his office.....as an oil fan ( and a secret flames booster ) dont hate Sutter to much, the second trade was brutal but you could be stuck with what we got.....Sweet F$&$^$k all........

I'll swap you one Khabby for your sweet F*%k all straight up!

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