The end of Mitch Wahl's tenure in the Flames' organization comes as the forward enters the back-end of the final year of his entry-level deal with the club. Wahl, who was originally touted as one of the Flames' most promising young forwards, has spent much of his time in the ECHL the past two years after a successful junior career and an appearance at the WJHC for team USA, and will be an RFA this summer. He has struggled to regain the same form and consistency he enjoyed in the WHL and his first brief appearance with the Abbotsford Heat after sustaining a severe concussion in 2010.
Wahl spent six games with the Abbotsford Heat this year in a brief resurgence, but has spent the remainder of his season with the Utah Grizzlies, where he has 19 goals and 59 points in 45 games. It's kind of strange that this trade comes at a time when the Heat are struggling mightily, with a record of just 2-7-0-1 in their past ten games, having scored just 16 goals in those games.
Adding Testwuide doesn't seem like it will really help the Heat much offensively. The undrafted 26-year-old has just two points (both goals) in 19 games with the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms this season, and just 70 points in 161 total AHL games. He's three years older than Wahl and marginally larger at 6"3, 210 lbs., but doesn't really bring much else to the table for Abbotsford, who are down a few forwards with Paul Byron (hand) and Akim Aliu (lower body) out and Sven Baertschi otherwise occupied for the time being.
At this point in their respective careers, this trade is really nothing more than an AHL body for a (sometimes) AHL body. Wahl is younger at 23 but it still seems unlikely he will ever stick at a level higher than the AHL nearly five years after he was drafted. While it's a fact that Testwuide has been more productive at the AHL-level than Wahl, he's also had the benefit of three extra years of experience and (presumably) good health, so it's fairly difficult to compare the two players and/or make a conclusion about the deal, suffice to say Testwuide will probably be the next player called up by the Flames in an attempt to restore some "grit" and "toughness" to their lineup.
The terms of Testwuide's deal are two-way at $525K for the remainder of this season; he'll also be an RFA this summer.