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Flames Finally Dump Primeau

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This summer just keeps getting better and better.

Though it's probably a year later than I would have preferred, TSN is reporting today that Darryl Sutter has traded Wayne Primeau and a 2011 2nd round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for minor leaguers Colin Stuart and Anton Stralman as well as a 2012 7th round pick.

The move clears up 1.4M of precious cap room and adds a couple more names to the Abbotsford Heat roster. Perhaps most importantly, it's whittles the Flames forward number down to a sensible 13, clearing space for the yet to be inked Dustin Boyd.

I've been calling for Primeau's departure basically since he was signed to his indefensibly large contract a couple of years ago and it's been pretty clear since the acquisitions of guys like Dawes and Sjostrom that there was little room on the Flames roster for the big vet this year. The assumption was he would be waived and shuttled to the farm a la Anders Eriksson last summer, but it seems Sutter was somehow able to convince Burke to take Primeau. The return, however apparently nominal, is a bonus.

Anton Stralman will turn 23 on August 1. The 6' 1", 200 pounder defender was a 2005 7th rounder by the Leafs. Although a late round choice, Stralman already has 88 NHL games under his belt as well as a couple of double digit goal point seasons in the AHL as well. The battle for blueline spots on the farm just got a bit bigger.

Colin Stuart (pictured above) was a part of the Garnet Exelby/Pavel Kubina swap earlier this summer. A former 5th round ATL pick, Stuart saw action in 33 contests for the parent club last season, scoring 3 goals and 8 points. His stats in the AHL thus far have been fairly underwhelming, so he'll likely be a 3rd or 4th line option for Abbotsford (pretty much eliminating any chance JD Watt had of making the Heat.  Sorry JD).

Stralman is on a two-way deal, while Stuart is a one-way, 500k contract. Im thinking the Leafs wanted Calgary to take some salary back in the deal which is fair enough.

Good news, my friends. Sutter got rid of one of the worst contracts on the books, freed up some room on the roster for a more valuable player and added a couple of potentially useful farm players in the process. I can't imagine why Burke wanted Primeau (BIG BODY PRESENCE?) but I'm extremely thankful he did.