The Flames Season Gets Even Weirder – Boyd gone, Staios Added

NHL 2010 - Anaheim Ducks vs Edmonton Oilers

Although the Flames moves were relatively minor today, Darryl Sutter nonetheless managed to make trade deadline a controversial one for Clagary fans. Let’s go through the club’s moves trade-by-trade.

Vesa Toskala for Curtis McElhinney

This move is less about acquiring Kipper’s buddy and more about the team giving up on CuMac and moving his contract out of the organization. He was re-signed in the off-season with question marks surrounding his ability and his performance this year went a long way to answering them – to the negative. McElhinney had some of the worst stats of any NHL puck stopper this year and was clearly on the outs with franchise. Getting rid of the second season of his contract is the boon here.

As for Toskala, he’s an upgrade on McElhinney, but the difference is marginal. McElhinney’s even strength SV% of .874 is good for 72nd in the league. Toskala’s .898 is 69th. This basically means that Kipper is the guy for the rest of the season and the club hopes bringing in his BFF can keep him happy I guess.

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Dustin Boyd for a Nashville’s 4th round draft pick

Since Darryl Sutter took over as GM for the Calgary Flames, he’s had precisely two of his draft picks become regular forwards at the NHL level: Brandon Prust and Dustin Boyd. Today, he dealt Boyd, a 23 year old who scored at a near PPG pace in his rookie AHL season, for a lower pick than was used to select him in 2004.

Although I forecasted this move last week due to Boyd’s plateauing development, I still regard the extremely limited return for him to be a major disappointment for the team and organization. There’s a vanishingly small chance that whoever the Flames pick will be anywhere near as good a player as Boyd, even if Dustin fails to progress beyond the 4th/3rd line support player he is now.

Steven Staios for Aaron Johnson and a 3rd round draft pick

I regard the first ever trade between the Flames and Oilers to be a clear win in favor of Edmonton – and I personally think Steve Tambellini is one of the most incompetent GM’s in the league. Steve Staios was once a tough and capable 2nd pairing defender in the NHL, but the truth is he’s a 35 year old player on the decline. There’s almost no chance he’ll provide value for his $2.7M cap hit, which extends through next year. On the current Flames roster, probably Adam Pardy is the only player Staios may usurp. So, in essence, he’s a depth defender for Calgary. At best.

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For some context, here are Steady Steve’s advanced stats:

Second worst penalty differential on the Oilers

Middle tier level of compeition

Worst corsi rate amongst regular Oiler defenders (-12/60)

Third easiest zone start on the Oilers


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The acquisition of Staios costs the Flames another draft pick (of which they have precious few), adds another middle-tier, poor value contract the club will have to deal with in off-season (joining Sarich and Kotalik) and did the Nothern rivals a favor by allowing them to dump a bothersome contract. From my perspective, it’s the acquisition of a potentially toxic asset for no apparent reason.  

Overall, the Flames didn’t improve today. The back-up issue is moot (unles Kipper gets injured), a 4th round pick is a lottery ticket and Staios doesn’t measurably improve the back-end. Calgary took a step-down in terms of draft picks (acquired a 4th, but lost a 3rd) and added another contract to their rapidly diminishing cap space for the sake of a 35 year old defender on the downslope of his career. Frankly, I have almost nothing good to say about Sutter’s work today.

  • RCN

    Another minor deal for the Flames, as the lovely Alex Ruiz just sent this tweet…

    One more minor trade for the Flames: Andy Delmore comes to Calgary for Riley Armstrong (Abbotsford Heat) – straight to minors.

    Gotta acquire more D, eh.

    • RCN

      Also, I LOVED Armstrong on the heat. Energy player, plays with tons of heart, and has decent hands. Plus his name looked like "RAMSTRONG" on his sweater. Actually rather disappointed about this.

  • RCN

    Also, Staios' buyout this summer would result in a $733,333 cap hit in 10-11 & 11-12 (as opposed to the $2,700,000 cap hit for 10-11 if they keep him).

    ~And paying a $733,000 'penalty' for 2 years is SO worth getting rid of the useless 3rd round pick~

    • I think the cap hit next year is 1.23 M and change and 733 K the next year assuming that there is a buyout (as per capgeek). You are looking at the cash savings.

      They might send him to the minors though. Edmonton might not have wanted to do that given the long tenure with the team but Calgary would have no such long standing relationship with him.

  • RCN

    pretty sure I want Sutter fired now. I was okay with losing Boyd, trading back-ups, but losing another pick, without dumping sarich and kotalik, and adding another 2.7 mil without even getting in the second round of the draft is unacceptable.

    So far, Phoenix wins.

  • Well, if it's any consolation Greg Wyshynski over at Puck Daddy figures Darryl did a great job today, and gave him a B- for his performance. He also added that the Staios trade was "one of the best trades of the day" (from a Flames perspective) and he figures a 35 year old D-man who hasn't been good since 2005 is going to lead the Flames into the playoffs.

    Roll out the carpet boys!

  • They need to literally fire Sutter now. I was fine with the Toskala trade because they gave up nothing for him. The Staios and Boyd trades are unnacceptable.

    One thing no one seems to be menitoning is they traded Boyd to a team they are in a fight with for a playoff spot with. Its ok though because a 4th rounder is good for about an 8% (?)chance of picking a regular NHLer right?

    I truly hope they lose every remaining game this year now in embarassing fashion (a la last night). They may squeek in to playoffs but Chicago or SJS will make very short work of them. At least all Sutters will be gone (sans Brent?): I could see Brent taking over to be honest.

    On some level I kinda hope they do trade Iggy. Not for the teams sake but for Iggys. I would rather see him win a cup than waste away on this team until hes 40. This team is no closer to winning a cup than Edmonton and Toronto; Toronto actually might have the slight edge here.

    Look at all the trades Sutter made over the years to try and build a contender and almost none are good. Buow is not that good. I liked Phaneuf more than him. Jokinen destroyed the room cost a first and lombo and they could resign Cammalleri. Remember when they traded Reinprect for Leclerc and Hulse? They have drafted 3 players I can think of who are NHL regulars; none are that good either (Boyd will improve though in NSH). They took a salary dump from the enemy and traded away their top pick to do it; not to mention the salary cap implications. Sarich sucks. The only good things he has done is get Bourque, Gio and Kipper, all the rest can go f*ck themselves.

    F*CK you Sutter, Eat Sh*t, Calgary doesnt want you anymore and I hope the next 1.5 months are the longest of your career.

    I want Stevie Y!