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Monday, February 12, 2007

SI gives Flames the edge

First matter of business: this deal has nothing to do with Joe Thornton, so Boston fans need to avoid the urge to do the math. That ship sailed before GM Peter Chiarelli was brought in, and he had to deal with the declining assets he had at hand. Kobasew is exactly the kind of player a team hopes to get in a deal like this. A young forward with top-six potential, he was available because he was suffering through a rough season. It's called buying low (hey, it worked with Cam Neely, right?). The optics on this deal would have been better last spring when he was in the midst of a 20-goal sophomore campaign, so Bruins fans looking to put a positive spin on things can take that to heart.

He's likely to be sidelined for another few weeks with a fractured elbow, but he can take his time healing -- this deal's about the future for Boston, not this season.

Ference is a third pairing guy, blessed with good mobility, the ability to make good decisions with the puck and a decent physical game. That means he fits the mold for the fast-paced, puck possession team that Chiarelli described as his goal earlier this season.

Just as important: both assets are signed for at least two years beyond this season, and at prices that allow the team to again be a player on the free agent market this summer.

Flames get: D Brad Stuart, C Wayne Primeau, draft pick

You have to love Flames' GM Darryl Sutter. The guy always believes he can win, and he does what he can to make it happen. This deal clearly sets Calgary up as a favorite to come out of the West.

Calgary can't match the defensive star power of Anaheim's Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer. But with the addition of Stuart to a corps that already includes Dion Phaneuf, Robyn Regehr and Roman Hamrlik, they're clearly a deeper group, and one that's capable of leading a legitimate run at the Cup.

Stuart's been a liability lately on the Boston blue line, but you can forget about his play over the past few weeks -- the trade talk clearly impacted his game. The real Stuart is a difference maker, a top pair stud capable of logging big minutes. He can help the Flames in any situation, especially the power play, and he brings a nasty physical edge that will be especially noticeable in the playoffs.

It's no surprise that Sutter wanted Primeau in the deal. He's a bugger to play against, and looks like the perfect fit for the Calgary system. He adds dependable depth to the forward group, is an able penalty killer and brings a vocal leadership style to the room. You won't find his name often on the score sheet, but he'll chip in with a big one when they really need it.

Winner: Better prepared to challenge for the Cup this spring without giving up anyone mission critical, the Flames take this in a landslide. The Bruins got useful players for the longer term, but you have to think a better deal would have been out there if Chiarelli had waited to pull the trigger.


Blogger Pekese said...

I agree Chiarelli could have holded off on trading Stuart for a lot longer and received more in return. But overall, I disagree with him I think the Bruins' got fair value in return, especially with the subtraction of Primeau makes it all worth it. I don't know why this guy likes Primeau so much, he probably hasn't seen him play much.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Latrappe said...

Chiarelli couldn't wait till the deadline. Stuart was playing bad and an injury would have killed all Stuart value. These two UFA'S won't re-sign with the Calgary anf that's why they ask for a 4th round pick. The B's got two players signed for, at least, two years and who can play in the NHL. This trade doesn't make Calgary a Cup contender....

4:22 PM  
Blogger Pekese said...

Stuart is a slight upgrade offensively. Primeau is a huge downgrade. Not long before Calgary hates Captain Hook and his lazy penalties.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For once we thought you were making sense in your comments.

Then we realized you were sloppily quoting someone else's words without attribution.

Don't know why you cannot see the intangibles players like Primeau and Axe bring. You probably haven't hung out in the locker room with them much nor read the comments from those who do.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Pekese said...

Its like Kevin Millar with the Redsox, yeah he might be a good clubhouse guy, but he hurt the team on a daily basis. There are better options which help the club actually win games. Yes, Primeau is everyone's close friend, but this is a business where you win from having success on the ice, not the locker room.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you don't seem to get is that a winning team has to be more than the sum of its parts. Guys like Premeau and Axe are necessary to win cups.

6:13 PM  

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