Flames trade Wahl for Mike Testwuide

Minor trade in Flamesland today. The Flames have dealt former 2nd rounder Mitch Wahl to Philly for 26-year old winger Mike Testwuide (don’t ask me how to pronounce that). Wahl was picked 48th overall by the Flames in 2008, the only second rounder of Darryl Sutter’s tenure as Flames GM.

For a long time Wahl looked to be one of the org’s best prospects. He was amongst the Spokane Chiefs primary point-getters during his entire junior career, culminating in a 30-goal, 96-point season in 2009-10. Wahl also stood out as a 20-year old in the Flames training camp in 2010, but was eventually sent down to the Abbotsford Heat. His pro rookie season was cut short by a vicious open ice hit by Aaron Volpatti, concussing Wahl for the rest of the season and perhaps setting back his development several years. 

Wahl never really recovered in the eye of the Flames. He struggled to remain in the Heat line-up once he finally returned from injury and was instead sent down to the ECHL in 2011-12. That’s where he has spent most of this season, leading the Utah Grizzlies in scoring with 19 goals and 59 points in 45 games.

Mike Testwuide is an undrafted winger who went the college route prior to going pro with the Adirondack Phantoms. He’s big at 6’3" and 210 pounds, but has never played an NHL game despite being in his mid-20s, has never scored at noteworthy rate in the AHL (his career high is 18 goals and 39 points).

Testwuide’s deal is a two-way, minimum wage contract that expires in the summer. He’s not really likely to ever break the parent club’s line-up and is likely more about bringing some size, strength and veteran presence to a Heat that has lost a lot of games lately.

It’s an ignominious end to Wahl’s time in Calgary. He may never justify his draft position or the high hopes some had after a very strong junior career, but good luck to him nevertheless.

  • Colin.S

    Pretty much a trade just to get rid of an assest they didn’t like. To bad for Wahl after that absolute monster of a hit, but after that he did it all to himself as well. He was apparenlty suppose to be part of the Bourque to Montreal trade but even Montreal wanted no part of him.

    The only funny part about this trade is us removing even more centers from this org that DESPERATELY needs them.

  • McRib

    Long overdue as it was clear that Mitch Wahl had no place in Calgarys system, they should have gotten ride of him two years ago and stopped ruining his development. In my opinion after a couple injuries early on the Flames gave up on him. Regardless he is never going to be an everyday NHLer but he showed briefly in Hamilton, that if he gets a chance playing regular minutes he can produce.

    On the other hand the Flames got decent return in Testwuide. He has great size and during last two years he has shown that he can produce in the A, 39 Points in the AHL is basically a point a game in any other league. Abbotsford is an undersized team upfront and can use him. This season he got very little ice time because of lockout and numbers plummeted. Fresh start could be what the doctor ordered.

    Works for both teams and wouldn’t be surprised if Wahl turns it around with Adirondack.

  • Subversive

    Worth mentioning is that Wahl led ECHL in scoring. At 22 and having missed large portions of 2 seasons he may not be ready to scrap yet.
    If he played college he would be a rookie products.

      • McRib

        Wahl comes from a fairly affluent family and area in the Greater Los Angeles Beach Communities. Money has never really been an issue with him and am told his family could afford his education if he wanted it.

        Hence why I am surprised he just didn’t quit Hockey all together, shows he has a passion for the game and chose to stick it out until the Flames finally gave up on him for good.

        The more I think about this situation the more it makes me wonder if it is going to come back and haunt us. The Flames never gave him the Top. 6 Minutes he needed to be successful at next level.

  • RexLibris

    Looks like he is a depth scorer with a penchant for penalty minutes.

    So is this move the other half of the Jones demotion?

    At the very least Flames fans won’t have to be reminded of that awful tan.

    It’d be nice to see Wahl make a go of it with the Phantoms. I hate seeing careers ended due to injury, especially concussions.

  • RexLibris

    Sorry that Wahl’s tenure in Flames silks ended, but not only did his injuries in year one of his pro career derail it, his tantrum about ice time resulted in him being loaned out last year to Hamilton. That, and the inability of translate what success he had in Utah this to the AHL level. . .


  • Parallex

    Nothing in, nothing out. Although in principle if we’re going to doing a minor league level deal I’d rather be on the end receiving the younger player, most probably a wash but I’d rather get someone you can at least dream on a little while longer.

    Sad about Wahl I had high hopes for him back when he was with the Chiefs, back then everyone said all the things that they say about Max Reinhart now. Good luck to him with Philly.

  • Kevin R

    Blockbuster before March even!! Good job Feasty, maybe the next big move will be shipping that Nemitzer out now. Well at least this confirms he was talking to Holmgren about something.

  • Franko J

    Whose next?

    I think most likely by July 5th and free agency, Feaster will have the majority of picks between 2005 and 2009 purged from the Flames organization. The only draft picks remaining might be Brodie and Backlund.

    • icedawg_42

      Perfect example of why it is worth trading away draft picks for players like O’Reilly and Neiderreitter. So many factors to drafting and developing players and so many things that can go wrong in the process. Trade the future potential for the current abilities every time. Mortgage the future on players in their early 20’s and you wont have a problem. The deficit problem comes when you mortgage your future for players in their 30’s.

      2013 and 2014 first round picks and 2014 second round pick to Colorado for O’Reilly and Stastny. Or deals along that line are what is needed. No matter how good a potential prospect seems you need to take the player that can play now and a number of years for you in the future.

      • RedMan

        I think this depends on where you’re going to finish. In the case of the Flames and where they usually finish, I agree. But even then, the Flames could drop their next several and miss out on a chance for a player like Drouin, Jones, Mackinnon, etc.

        Also, these situations are rare. Teams are not going to trade a sterling prospect for a draft pick unless it’s top 5 and that defeats the point.

        Players on the down-side of their career are all that’s available for picks because you’re either trading hit/miss for hit/miss or ‘now’ for ‘later.’ But why trade high level current abilities for potential only?

        Admittedly, the ROR situation is unique and given ownership’s ‘win now’ mantra, it would make sense under that framework to give up a first and a second for him.

        • Danger

          Although, if you’re happy to give up the first to get ROR, you should just offer-sheet him instead. That way you only give up a first and a third (and Colorado clearly isn’t going to match, or they would have signed him by now).

          Not that I expect them to actually do that, of course.

      • RedMan

        Actually I think giving players their big payday contracts at 27-28 is probably a very bad practise. Case in point, Suter & Parise who else thinks they arent worth anything close to what they are getting paid? I’m not opposed for taking a run at ROR but we are not in a position to give up 1st’s. I would rather part with Gio & a 3rd. No guarantee we make the playoffs this year even with ROR.

        • RexLibris

          Depends on the severity and the player’s response to it.

          Usually one concussion isn’t enough to entirely destroy a young man’s career, provided it isn’t catastrophic. A multitude of similar injuries though often can undermine whatever talent a player may have.

          This is one reason why I am generally supportive of how cautious the Flames are being with Baertschi. I know he has had at least one concussion already, and I think there was talk of perhaps a second one earlier this year in the AHL.

        • SmellOfVictory

          Given the length of his pro career, I think there’s a good argument for it. He missed almost an entire season due to it, at a critical time during his development. He looks like he’s rebounding from it somewhat, and the Flames simply aren’t giving him a chance to continue that development.

          He should be treated as a second year pro due to the delay, yet he’s being treated as a third year pro in terms of his expectations. He absolutely kills the ECHL, then gets 6 whole games in the AHL before they toss him aside? He’s given no real leash to play with, while far less deserving guys like Aliu and Nemisz hang around being borderline useless.

        • McRib

          I don’t blame one concussion on Wahl’s development either, especially considering the Flames chose to bury him in the ECHL for two 1/2 seasons afterward.

          The whole situation was handled very poorly by the Flames and Fester’s leadership gave up on a once valuable prospect inherited from another GM. Happens all the time, maybe if we stopped signing so many mediocre College Free Agents we would have had space for him…. I don’t understand what they saw in David Eddy and Brett Olson. Becasue if Wahl had the ice time Olson did with Abbotsford, I can guarantee you he would have more than 16 points.

          Honestly with the way Calgary has handled Baertschi this season in seven games, the talk of a rebuild scares the crap out of me (Not to mention sending down Street after two games where he kept improving)

          Please give Sven some Power Play Time and GET COMEAU THE HECK OFF HIS LINE!!!! Honestly he isn’t going to do much with the 5+ Minutes he is currently getting.

          • SmellOfVictory

            Yeah, for all their suppsoed vaunted changes, the Flames continue to handle their development side poorly.

            Not only does the parent club have a ‘win now’ mantra, but so does the farm team.

            While I think some veterans are needed to keep heads above water, a farm team is just that, a place to grow players into becoming NHL’ers.

            That said, Wahl is not entirely without blame for his lack of progression.

          • McRib

            “Not only does the parent club have a ‘win now’ mantra, but so does the farm team.”

            No kidding, choosing to put our AHL Farm team in Abbotsford ( i.e. Greater Vancouver. i.e Canuckland) was about the worst decision ever made by the Flames organization… As long as that franchise continues to bleed money, the Flames are forced to pick up “Veteran AHLers”. To keep the on ice product competitive and get fans in the stands and by doing so eliminating roster spots meant for prospects. Unfortunately the Heat are so broke even the rightful owners of that franchise the Canucks, don’t want them anymore.

            Mitch Wahl, Ryan Howse, Michael Ferland…etc. May never have been NHL stars but I can guarantee you that getting sent to the ECHL didn’t help their development.

  • RedMan

    It does make you wonder what’s going on with ROR. I think the Avs would have like to had this situation dealt with by now. I mean a trade, obviously they aren’t gonna get him signed. Are they asking too much?

    • RedMan

      Am I the ONLY one that looks at the ROR mess and think it’s prudent to shy away from what seems to be a potential primadonna? I don’t blame him for holding out i guess, but all the weird stuff in the media, his dad, etc etc…

      I don’t know, i just worry about another Dion in the locker room

    • RedMan

      another funny thing about the Av’s and ROR – Av’s are in a funny situation when they try to hold out for superstar returns in a trade, but offer him a piddling contract… so which is he really worth Colorado?

  • Injuries derailed the development of…

    Kris Chucko (2004), Matt Pelech (2005), John Negrin (2007), Mitch Wahl (2008), and the late Mickey Renaud (2008) also would’ve been something had things not worked out the way they did.

    • loudogYYC

      That’s a really good point. I didn’t have much hope for Chucko or Pelech but the other 3 seemed to have some promise.

      If only the Flames had hockey minds like John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen on staff…..

        • RexLibris

          Envious of them now. YES. I would gladly trade Ken King and Jay Feaster for John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen. Heck I would throw in some picks and prospects to make it happen.

          I think that the comment though was more based on what they accomplished in St Louis as opposed to Columbus. And in that regard I would gladly trade our roster for the Blues roster and throw in some picks and prospects to make it happen.