After announcing the signing of Derek Smith yesterday, the Flames made another move today, acquiring enforcer Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.
Feaster had this to say of Leblond's addition:
"...We want to continue to add to our team toughness but do so with players who are capable of playing a regular shift and contributing within the team concept. In Pierre-Luc not only have we achieved our objectives but we have done so by bringing in a player who comes very highly recommended by our Head Coach who worked with him previously."
I find both parts of this quote interesting; first off, Leblond has scored very few points at the NHL level, and while he wasn't as much of a liability as one would suspect in terms of penalties taken vs. penalties drawn, he played against some of the weakest competition of all regular Devils forwards and had one of the worst Corsi rates, while maintaining a ZoneStart ratio of over 60% in 27 games in 2009-10. Even for a guy that plays an average of five minutes per game, those are some bad numbers.
The second part of the quote about Leblond being highly recommended by Brent Sutter is also somewhat disheartening, and proves that he still ascribes to his older brother's philosophy surrounding "tough guys" in the NHL that don't contribute to the team's on-ice objective, which is, obviously, to outplay, out-chance, outshoot, and beat the opposition. For all of us who thought that last season represented something of an "ah-ha" moment for Brent Sutter, who seemed to learn which players were better suited for tough minutes, which players should be sheltered, and which players belonged in the press box, adding Leblond upon his recommendation seems like a step backwards.
The only reasoning behind Leblond's acquisition that makes even a smidgen of sense to me would be having him around to "protect" some of the younger players like Bouma and Nemisz, but even that school of thought is outdated, and I think both of those guys are capable of fighting their own battles.
A fifth-round pick for a former 2004 seventh-rounder making virtually league minimum for one year is nothing to riot over to be sure, but you'll be hard-pressed to find many Flames fans around the blogosphere who are impressed with the move.