That, dear readers, is the best possible explanation – or at least the best two-word explanation – for the amazing disposability of second-round picks in the Darryl Sutter Era at the House Pekka Rautakallio Built.
In the summer of 2003, in the early days of Sutter’s reign as Flames general manager, he invested Calgary’s second-round pick in a Swiss defenceman with the aforementioned name. Well, cue all the stale “Swiss miss” wisecracks because Ramholt’s Flames consisted of a grand total of 45 seconds of ice time.
Ever since Two-shift Tim, Sutter hasn’t given a second thought to trading away his second-rounder. Here’s the firsthand look at the phenomenon.
The fate of the Flames’ second-round picks:
2004 – Traded to Florida for Marcus Nilson (the Panthers selected David Booth)
2005 – Traded to San Jose for Miikka Kiprusoff (the Sharks selected Marc-Edouard Vlasic)
2006 – Traded to Colorado in the Alex Tanguay deal (the Avalanche selected Codey Burki)
2007 – Traded to Colorado in the Alex Tanguay deal (the Avalanche selected Trevor Cann)
2008 – Traded to Los Angeles in the Craig Conroy deal (**see note**)
2009 – Traded to Los Angeles in the Michael Cammalleri deal (later traded to the Hurricanes, who drafted Brian Dumoulin)
2010 – Traded to Chicago for Rene Bourque
2011 – Traded to Toronto in Wayne Primeau deal
**Note: Flames reacquired the second-round pick originally given to Los Angeles in the Craig Conroy trade in the Michael Cammalleri trade in 2008. Naturally, as part of the second swap, the Flames gave up a second-rounder for the following year. With the well-travelled second-round pick in 2008, the Flames drafted Spokane forward Mitch Wahl, who so far has defied the odds and remains Flames property.
Based on his work this summer, everyone wants to know how Sutter managed to get rid of $6 million in onerous salary ($4.6M for two years for Jim Vandermeer and $1.4 million for one year for Wayne Primeau). A fair question, to be sure, and one that Tony Gallagher certainly wants an answer to, but there might be an even better question for enquiring minds – howcum none of the National Hockey League watchdogs have noticed that Sutter has traded 23 second-round picks since becoming Flames GM?
OK, it’s actually only eight but considering he’s only been on the job six years, that still takes some doing.
Meanwhile, with the acquisition of Anton Stralman and Colin Stuart, one has to ask yet another question – are the Flames stocking TWO American Hockey League affiliates this coming winter? Over the course of the summer, the Flames have acquired six players who spent at least part of 2008-09 in the minors – Stralman, Stuart, Jason Jaffray, Riley Armstrong, Garth Murray and Brian McGrattan – and a seventh – Keith Seabrook – who’s ticketed for the AHL in 2009-10. Don’t forget that the Flames have several junior prospects eligible to turn pro this season, including Mikael Backlund, John Negrin and Keith Aulie.
The speculation is that part of the Flames’ deal with the folks running the new affiliate in Abbotsford mandated the inclusion of a certain number of minor-league veterans, a breed that was a relative rarity when the Calgary farmhands wintered in Moline, Ill., and Omaha, Neb.