Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
On this day in 2010, the Flames trade Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust to Rangers
25 days ago
On this day in 2010, the Calgary Flames traded forwards Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust to the New York Rangers to acquire forwards Chris Higgins and Ales Kotalik.
Just one day after Flames general manager Darryl Sutter disclosed a massive seven-player trade that sent Dion Phaneuf to the Toronto Maple Leafs, he continued unravelling the club with a four-player trade to follow.
However, the trade was rumoured to happen before the Flames’ 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, and hours later, it was finalized.
“Definitely, it’s a slap in the face to get traded,” said Jokinen. “It was a long day. We heard everything yesterday, last night I was kind of surprised. I wasn’t expecting to get moved, but it’s part of the business, and I’ve got to move on.”
The Flames acquired Jokinen one year earlier from the Phoenix Coyotes at the trade deadline. Jokinen recorded eight goals and 15 points in 19 games for the Flames in 2008-09, eight of which came in the first six games, while Prust scored one goal and two points in 25 games.
Jokinen traded to Rangers alongside Prust
Unfortunately, the six-foot-two forward struggled, scoring only 11 goals and 35 points throughout 56 games. For the organization, 11 goals wouldn’t be enough to secure the 31-year-old an extension in Calgary.
When Jokinen’s time in Calgary came to a halt, he scored 19 goals and 50 points throughout 75 games. Previously, he totalled nine goals and 21 points with the Los Angeles Kings, 11 goals and 21 points during his one-year stint with the New York Islanders, 188 goals and 419 points across seven seasons with the Florida Panthers, and 21 goals and 42 points with the Coyotes. He eventually returned to the Flames in 2010-11 after 26 games with the Rangers and remained with the club for two seasons before signing as a free agent with the Winnipeg Jets in 2012.
For Prust, this wasn’t the first time the Flames had traded him. Originally, Prust was the 70th overall selection by the Flames at the 2004 NHL Draft. He played 10 games in 2006-07 before ironically becoming one of the trade pieces that brought Jokinen to the Flames in 2009 from the Coyotes; he was traded back to Calgary months later.
Prust stuck around in New York for two more seasons, scoring 22 goals and 55 points before signing as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens in 2012.
Kotalik was supposedly the big name the Flames would receive in the deal. Ironically, he walked out on the Rangers when he heard he was rumoured to be one of the trade pieces. The 31-year-old spent most of his career with the Sabres after they selected him 164th overall in the 1998 Draft. He recorded 114 goals and 420 points across several seasons and consistently produced 30-40 points consecutively for the previous three years with Buffalo. Still, his performance significantly dipped during his 19-game stint with the Edmonton Oilers.
With the Flames, Kotalik scored seven goals and 11 points across 52 games. He was eventually traded to Buffalo at the 2011 NHL Draft before ending his pro career with Ceske Budejovice in Czechia.
As for Higgins, the 26-year-old played all of 12 games with the Flames, scoring two goals and three points before signing as a free agent with the Florida Panthers in July 2010. He finished the last of his time in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks scoring 62 goals and 142 points across six seasons.
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