The Flames made another trade today, acquiring RW Alex Chiasson from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for D prospect Patrick Sieloff. They then signed Chiasson to a 1-year deal, worth $800,000. Alex Chiasson played two seasons for the Ottawa Senators, after they acquired him as part of their return for Jason Spezza. Chiasson definitely fell out of favour in Ottawa this past year, putting up 8 goals and 6 assists in 77 games while posting a relative Corsi of -5.2. The numbers do not look very impressive, but there is still a bit of potential there for Chiasson. In his first tour of duty in the NHL, he played 7 games under new Flames coach Glen Gulutzan as a member of the Stars, where Chiasson scored 6 goals and 1 assist in 7 games, while shooting a very sustainable 46.2%. In his actual rookie season, Chiasson fared quite well by posting 13 goals and 22 assists in 79 games. His first season in Ottawa was not all that bad either, with 26 points in 76 games. So last year was a train-wreck for Chiasson, but he is only 25-years-old so there is a chance he can rebound in a different system. Calgary is definitely short on right shooting wingers, so Chiasson will likely have an opportunity to contribute in an offensive role, the question will be whether he is able to seize the chance.
Going the other way, the Flames give up AHL defender Patrick Sieloff, the Flames 42nd overall pick in the 2012 draft. Sieloff had high potential when drafted, but injuries really threw him off his development curve and since then he has been passed by with an influx of strong defence prospects in the Flames system. Kylington, Andersson, Wotherspoon, Kulak, Hickey and Culkin all have a higher potential of being part of the Flames future, so even if Sieloff is able to turn into an NHL defenceman, the Flames likely will not miss him.
Chiasson may fall flat, but there is also a chance he could be a successful reclamation project. With Calgary being low on right-shooting wingers, this is a buy-low investment that may pay dividends. If he continues to struggle, he can easily be waived to the AHL at no cost to the Flames cap and the Flames can cut ties with him next year. A worthy gamble from Flames' management.