Darryl Sutter can't help himself. He may not be as loud and self-promoting as Brian Burke but he can't let a trade deadline go by without thrusting himself into the spotlight. He has once again proven himself unpopular with the readers of this site for the continued re-making of the Flames. I'm on record as being more of a fan of Daz than most and even I don't see any good news from today's moves.
And yet...I don't really see bad news either. In fact, I see no news. I'm trying hard to be outraged, or excited, or interested in the moves that Sutter made today and the truth of the matter is, I don't really care. The trades before the Olympics mattered - they reshaped the team, for good and for bad, and changed the look of the roster (in concert with the contract extensions) for the next few years. The impact of those trades on the rest of this year are measurable.
But today? Let's take them one by one.
Curtis McElhinney for Vesa Toskala. A bad backup that we're tired of watching in Calgary for a bad backup that other teams were tired of watching. Neither one can replace Miikka Kiprusoff and the Flames are screwed if they have to. Neither one will play more than two games the next two months. Toskala was once considered good. That's about the sum result of that trade. Moving on...
Dustin Boyd for a 4th rounder. Don't like this, again I'm a huge Boyd fan and always have been. And yet...I realize I'm a fan because he's always been a Flame, and because he has a good back story with the Canadian junior team and I've always liked the Moose Jaw Warriors. I really don't know if he was worth more around the league than a 4th round pick and neither does anyone else in the outsider's world. And in the Flames current setup, a 4th round pick is worth more than Boyd was. We can argue that he was handled poorly, but it's been four years and the ship has sailed.
Steve Staios for Aaron Johnson and a 3rd. The complaints about this trade are that he is a 3rd pairing D with a big contract. Is he better or worse than Pardy right now? I don't know. Was he better than Johnson? Probably. Either way, a pointless move that has little impact. Trying to project the impact into the summer, though, feels like a fool's game. Sutter always seems to be able to deal with contracts that he doesn't like, which would be a skill if he wasn't responsible for causing his own problems in the first place.
In summary, not a good day for the Flames but not bad enough to cause the wailing that has accompanied the trade deadline threads, in my opinion. Let's just play some hockey, already! Let's make the playoffs, let's give ourselves reason to live and die for a few more weeks, let's enjoy the collective experience and leave the summer for the summer.