DALLAS TX - DECEMBER 23: Defenseman Anton Babchuk #33 of the Calgary Flames celebrates a goal against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on December 23 2010 in Dallas Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
After being fairly inactive during the first few days of free agency, the Calgary Flames have announced the signing of defenceman Anton Babchuk to two year contract that will see the Ukrainian with the big shot pull in $2.5M per year.
Babchuk scored eight goals and 27 points in 65 games with the Flames after being acquired along with Tom Kostopoulos in the trade that sent Ian White and Brett Sutter to Carolina; he averaged just over 13 minutes of ice time at even strength playing against mostly bottom-tier competition and 2:30 on the powerplay, where he became something of a fixture.
Jay Feaster had to do something to fill the gaping hole Robyn Regehr left behind on the Flames' blueline, but there's no question that Babchuk will likely struggle should he try to fill Reggie's shoes, and $2.5M is a bit much for defender with limited capabilities. Put me down as ambivalent about the deal.