Flames make major trade with Leafs, gain top players

1/31/10 in NHL   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

The announcement came yesterday, surprising Leafs and Flames' fans alike.  The Flames have been struggling lately, no doubt, and it's not Coach Sutter's way to simply sit back and hope for things to change.  He is a man to shake things up and change them.  His brother, Darryl Sutter, is the same way.

So change things they have.

The Calgary Flames will lose Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjostrom and Keith Aulie.  In return, they gain the top goal scorer, the top defence scorer and the face-off win leader in Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers and Matt Stajan.

The Flames are obviously looking for some new blood and more goal scorers, but why would the Leafs give up three of their top players?

It's no secret the Leafs are having a dismal season, and even with these top players have not been able to get the wins, so perhaps both coaches are thinking chemistry.  Phaneuf will undoubtedly be a positive addition, with his strong defence, but he has played his entire NHL career with the Flames, and acclimatization the Leafs way of doing things may not be a quick or easy accomplishment. 

Sjostrom only came to the Flames this season, but hasn't been the producer the Sutters had hoped for, so hoefully he will fit in with the Leafs a little better. 

The trade takes place immediately, and team rosters are being adjusted as I write this, so Monday evening we will get a chance to see if the move was a good one for the Flames when they host the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Leafs will host the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday and we'll see whether their acquisitions, which also included JS Giguere in a second trade with the Anaheim Ducks, were good ones.
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