March 05 2014 03:19PM
Today the Calgary Flames (23-31-7) host the Ottawa Senators (27-24-11) at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The game comes mere hours after the annual NHL trade deadline.
The Flames and Senators went into the deadline with two different mantras. The Ottawa Senators, who sit 4 points out of the final Eastern wildcard spot, decided they were buyers in the days leading up to the deadline. The Flames, on the other hand, have been sellers since December.
The Senators added sometimes skillful but often non-existent Ales Hemsky to their roster for a 3rd and a 5th round pick, said goodbye to Cory Conacher (claimed on waivers by Buffalo) and inked Chris Phillips to a new two-year deal to ensure he'd stay a Senator. No Marty St. Louis-type blockbusters but Hemsky could add some scoring depth down the stretch.
The Flames, with such trade pieces as Michael Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak, Dennis Wideman, Jiri Hudler and Chris Butler, were expected to be very busy during the trade deadline. And, as the story goes, it sounds like the phone didn't ring once.
Michael Cammalleri, the biggest fish the flames had to trade, was not dealt. Dennis Wideman and Jiri Hudler were also not dealt. Chris Butler, a serviceable sixth/seven dman on a good team, was not dealt. Ladislad Smid is apparently as good as Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano and was made untradeable early on in the day by Mr. Burke. Stempniak to Pittsburgh has confirmed. In a neat twist of fate, the Flames traded Reto Berra to the Colorado Avalanche for some sort of draft pick. Incredibly, that draft pick was a 2nd rounder. That is an incredible haul for Berra and I think Flames' fans are satisfied with that one.
So there we have it. The day that was hoped to quicken this rebuild through some savvy trading from the Flames overlord yielded nothing major, but did gain them a couple draft picks.
- Cammalleri - Backlund - Colborne
- Hudler - Monahan - Hanowski
- Bouma - Granlund - Byron
- Reinhart - Knight - McGrattan
- Giordano - Brodie
- Smid - Wideman
- Butler - Russell
Cammalleri, sticking with the Flames, finds himself on the first-line with Backlund and Colborne. Still can't believe he wasn't dealt. Moving on...
The great news is we get to see two more AHL kids tonight. Reinhart, who's been destroying the AHL of late, is back for another call-up. He will play on a line with McGrattan and his Heat teammate, Corban Knight. Knight, from all accounts, has been one of the driving forces of the Heat all year and is a responsible player in all three zone. He's also well known for his faceoff prowess and I'm curious if that'll immediately translate to the bigs or if it take some adjusting. (Update: with Stempniak also gone, Ben Hanowski comes up to play tonight.
With Berra heading to Colorado, Ortio will most certainly start this game. Joey Mac is expected to arrive just before game time to back him up.
- Michalek - Spezza - Hemsky
- MacArthur - Turris - Condra
- Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
- Greening - Smith - Neil
- Methot - Karlsson
- Phillips - Ceci
- Wiercioch - Gryba
Hemsky will be in the line-up tonight as conveniently he was only three hours away from Calgary when he was traded. He is expected to slot in on the first line with Spezza and Michalek.
Curiously, Bobby Ryan is on the third line with Zibanejad and Hoffman. That's a strange one. He is an offensive threat if I've ever seen one. That's his role. What is he doing on the checking line? I have no idea. Also, from everything I've heard, he, MacArthur and Turris have been lights-out together. Very strange, to say the least.
Anderson gets the start in this one and it appears he'll get the lion share of the workload going down the stretch.
SUM IT UP
The Flames trade deadline was incredibly disappointing. Many moves were expected and basically none were made. On the bright side, the Flames at least didn't trade for players to make them better right now so hopefully a top-3 is all but a certainty.
The game tonight will be interesting. One team bolstered their line-up slightly and are hoping to make a go of it. The other team, the Flames, were thinking that there would be many changes to their line-up come tonight and there is basically zero. Should be an interesting to see how the Flames come out of the gates in this one.
Puck drops at 7:30 pm MT on Sportsnet.