Minor Trade: Akim Aliu for John Negrin



It was announced this morning that the Flames have acquired RW Akim Aliu from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for D John Negrin.

Aliu is a former 2nd round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks. He was lent to the Abbotsford Heat by the Jets this season and it seems the decision makers like what they saw in the 6’3", 23-year old winger. Aliu has bounced around the AHL and ECHL since turning pro and is more famous for a hazing/fight incident with Steve Downie during his OHL days than anything else. He was also involved in several dust-ups during pre-season practice in Hawks camp before Chicago traded him away.

So far this year he has four goals and five points in 13 games with Abbotsford.

John Negrin was once a very promising prospects for the Flames. A smooth skating, two-way defender Negrin has battled endless injury issues since turning pro which ultimately seems to have derailed his development. Negrin fell down the organization depth chart and was briefly assigned to the ECHL to start this season. Clearly the Flames don’t see him as part of the future any more.

Aliu was also well regarded as a prospect at one point owing to his size and strength, but his results since leaving junior are completely underwhelming. His acquisition is strictly a depth move for Calgary’s farm team.

  • Derzie

    Zero problems with this trade. We have better defenders on our team and Negrin was moving farther and farther down the depth chart. Aliu is a big kid who can play a role for the Flames.

    The negative may be this kids attitude, as is evidence by two organizations trading him away and some of his past antics. Also his PIMs are not something that look encouraging, really, as is evidence in the new NHL, enforcers, or enforcer types are going the way of the dodo. Although it looks wih Abbotsford he is starting to curtail them a little.

    Good depth move, I think we won the trade thats for sure.

  • Dr. Nick

    I don’t know if we won this trade, I think it is a tie because nobody in this trade can be seen as a prospect with high upside. Maybe one of them will be a surprise, but as far as I can tell, this trade is a wash.

    One thing I am noticing is that our defensemen are getting smaller, but more mobile and Brian Connelly even won the fastest skater at the AHL All-Star Skills Competition.

  • Derzie

    Get a look at this kids picture & he is one scary looking hombre. Maybe put him in the press box & that should give players incentive to not being a healthy scratch.:)

  • thymebalm

    Ryan Pinder really likes Akim Aliu. Apparently he has devastating speed. In the few Heat games I listened to, he was able to beat out of a few icing calls. I think we was recharged by the trade west.

    Negrin is not as good now as he was when he came off his final junior season. Injuries have taken his timing away for him, at least for now.

    I thought bringing in Connelly would help take the pressure of Negrin, but I guess they are just replacing him all together.

  • Dr. Nick

    trade makes 0 sense but it’s a AHLer for an AHLer. Question i have is heard The Feast talk about the Morrison trade saying he had no intention of signing him and he was going to sit. My question is “WHY THE HELL DID YOU SIGN HIM THEN?”

    • Dr. Nick

      Makes a bunch of sense actually. Move a guy you didn’t want/need for a guy that makes your farm team better and probably has a bit more upside and could be a depth player in the NHL if he gets his head in the game, he already has good size. I think the trade was in the works for a while with the borrowing from another team and all.

      Wahl was probably being auditioned to Montreal and could have been included in the trade for Camms, however I don’t think Montreal liked what it saw so they took Holland instead. And thats why Wahl is now in the ECHL with Utah.

  • Dr. Nick

    No i’m saying that the Morrison signing made little sense if they had no real intention of keeping him or using him. I could have save Feast a few headaches and told him to take a pass back in August.

    • Dr. Nick

      You said “trade makes 0 sense”. Thats what I was replying to. I have no comment on the Morrison signing. I have not heard Feasters comments on not wanting to sign him. If he didn’t want to sign him I don’t see why he did… Either way, he was a good guy to have around the org and got us a decent looking prospect.

  • Dr. Nick

    “I have to rid him of old habits,” Ward noted, “to help him become a successful player and and successful person.

    “We’ve got to look at how we change behavioral patterns and how we change relationships with teammates, relationships with coaches, how he handles the equipment staff. Those are the things we’re going about now. As we work on those things, we’ve still got to work on the player.”

    Quotes from Ward from the Abbotsford News.

    In my opinion Aliu has always had a sense of superiority and entitlement in his personality. He has always had the physical tools to play the game at a high level, but has never applied himself to work hard enough to make something of his physical gifts. Kid is cocky, and full of himself and this attitude has stuck with him before junior hockey.

    • Dr. Nick

      Good on Ward, if he can work on those things while working on his game, maybe he can be a good depth NHLer. Sounds like we have the right guy down there in Abbotsford. I mean he’s even looking at the little things like how the guy even treats the equipment staff.

    • everton fc

      If you’ve heard Ward’s interviews in the past… if there’s anyone who can get inside this kid’s head and make him see he is throwing away his career by being a wingnut… It’s Ward.

      Which is why Ward is my #1 choice to replce Brent come season’s end.

      So is Aliu under contract with the Flames? Or is he under contract w/the Heat, like Kolanos??

      Incidentally, the kid’s born in Nigeria, but raised in Ukraine until he was 12. He’s fluent in Russian.

    • “Sense of superiority and entitlement in his personality”

      That sounds like another young player I know of… PK Subban.

      It’s a minor league trade to clear out the garbage and bring a forward on full time. They probably got tired of Raitis Ivanans skating around in circles, wondering where he is for 15 minutes a game.

      • everton fc

        Ivanans has 2 goals, 3 assist and is +4 in 17 games. So he’s doing something.

        As for Abby’s goalies… Forgot the all-star break. I see Irving staying up here. But perhaps the organization prefers Karlsson, so Irving can get regular starts….

        • Ivnanans production might as well be nothing, considering he’s suppose to be an NHL regular, the fact he’s scoring at a worse pace than guys who’ll never play in the NHL is a pretty sad thing. That something he is doing is taking up a spot.

          Irving will get demoted cause Karlsonn would be required to go on Waivers and I don’t think the Flames want to do that. Plus Irving will get better time in the AHL as well as thats the more cost effective solution as Irving is on a 2 way.

          • everton fc

            Hey – I never said I supported Ivanans on the roster at anytime. Like PL3, a really bad signing.

            Just saying he is producing some points… That’s all. More than Ward probably ever expected when he received Ivanans…

            I do agree on Irving, though. His time comes, next season.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      On one hand Feaster seems to have gotten an upgrade for Negrin, on the other hand The Heat may have a injected a guy with a poisonous personality. Those are very worrisome comments by Ward about the player. He sounds like a real piece of work, and I wonder how much worse he gets, if he makes the NHL.

  • RKD

    Too bad Negrin wasn’t able to pan out with the Flames, plus injuries never help.

    With the emergence of Brodie, Smith, etc. Negrin became expendable.

    Akim Alu has put up some decent numbers in the OHL, but his numbers in the AHL are lower.

    London OHL 60 28 33 61
    Lon/Sby OHL 45 18 26 44
    Sudbury OHL 53 20 22 42
    Sudbury OHL 29 10 16 26
    Chi/Peo AHL 59 9 9 18
    Chicago AHL 43 4 5 9

    He has size 6’4 and 225 lbs and only 22 so hopefully he can regain his offensive touch a bit.

  • everton fc

    As an aside, Ortio was re-assigned to TPS Turku. Guess he’s not ready. So am I mistaken, or do the Heat have one keeper on the roster (Danny Taylor)?

    Is Karlsson ready for a reconditioning gig? Or is something else happening? (Or has something happened??)

    • everton fc

      The AHL is on its All Star break and I don’t think the Heat play for a while, then I think Karlsonn gets his conditioning stint and then Irving will be sent down so there is no room for Ortio, they need him playing.

  • RexLibris

    I know this can appear to be a “who-cares” kind of trade, and I certainly wouldn’t say that Feaster has somehow found a diamond in the rough in Aliu, but these small trades make up a significant part of a GMs regular house-cleaning duties in exchanging from a position of surplus to address a position of need.

    I don’t think there is much one can do to analyze this move other than to say that it is about time, from a Flames perspective, that the Heat received the attention that is needed in a farm/development system.

  • RexLibris

    Just a thought from the Winnipeg side. While I don’t know either player, it seems a bit odd to me that they Jets have added to what is would be considered their organizational strength – defence. My feelling, without evidence to confirm this, is that this a prelude to the a bigger move by the parent club. I think the Jets are about to move one or two NHL d-man for a quality scorer and this guy will be moved to St. John’s to fill in the gap left by the guys being promoted. Does this seem crazy? Personally I think the Jones and Hainsey (publicly disputed TNSE regarding realignment) and maybe even Kane (there are so many people in Winnipeg who seem to have a bad story about the guy you have to wonder what is going on).

    • ChinookArchYYC

      It might be a sign of a pending move, but it could also be about AHL depth. A number of the Jets depth D men are pending UFAs. Oduya, Flood, Meech and Jones may all be gone next year. TNSE wants the AHL team to compete for a championship every year too.

      Aliu is was expendable because:
      -He is a pending FA who couldn’t make the AHL squad
      -Jets have other prospect who are very similar.

      I would be surprised if either player in this trade is ever an NHL player.