The NHL’s trade moratorium is over and it didn’t take Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke long to get to work transforming the club.
Carolina trades Kevin Westgarth to Calgary for Greg Nemisz. #tsn
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 30, 2013
The Flames have since officially confirmed the move.
Westgarth, 29, was signed out of college by the Los Angeles Kings in 2007 after four years with Princeton. He played the better part of five seasons with the Kings organization, including three seasons with the big club, where he won a Stanley Cup in 2012. Well, he was injured but got a ring and his name on the Cup anyway. He was flipped to the Hurricanes in exchange for Anthony Stewart and two draft picks following the Cup win. He makes $725,000 and is an unrestricted free agent following this season. But moreover, he’s a big fella – listed as 6’4" and 230 pounds. Westgarth has 9 points in 133 NHL contests, as well as 202 penalty minutes (and a lot of fights).
Nemisz, 23, was Calgary’s first round pick in the 2008 Draft. Y’know, the one that produced T.J. Brodie and Lance Bouma. Nemisz is a fairly big kid himself at 6’3" and 200 pounds, but doesn’t play especially big. He’s struggled with injuries and inconsistency the last couple of seasons. He’s played 15 games with the Flames since turning pro, but failed to cement himself in the organization’s plans. The emergence of Markus Granlund, Corban Knight and Ben Street, as well as Max Reinhart moving to the wing, basically pushed Nemisz out of the team’s plans.
With Burke indicating a preference for black and blue hockey, this move makes sense. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised that they were able to get anything more than a mid-round draft pick for Nemisz. But at the NHL level, I’m not sure if Westgarth amounts to much more than a younger version of Brian McGrattan, albeit with a Stanley Cup ring.