So the Flames have dealt Dion Phaneuf, Freddie Sjostrom, and Keith Aulie to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Nik Hagman, Matt Stajan, Ian White, and Jamal Mayers.
So lets break this down to try and make sense of the deal.
Jamal Mayers for Freddie Sjostrom is basically sending 4th liners back and forth, and Mayers is a UFA so you free up his money in the off season.
Which leaves you with Phaneuf and Aulie for Hagman, Stajan and White.
The Flames are getting two top 6 forwards in this deal in Hagman and Stajan. Hagman has a very reasonable cap hit of 3M for the next two seasons after that. Stajan is an impending UFA and is the biggest risk in this trade. Ian White has been the most pleasent suprise for the Leafs this season and is an RFA at the end of the year, but should slide into the Flames top 6 nicely and I would guess will play with Bouwmeester to give Jay a little more room to play offense.
Hagman gives you a legitimate 30 goal scoring LW which the Flames are in desperate need of, and is a solid defensive player as well and should slide into the Flames system. I can see him starting off with Langkow and Bourque giving that line a much need boost.
Stajan gives the Flames the best play making center they have had in a long time. he is a good chance of being a 50 assist and 70 point player. I suspect he will play will Iginla and Jokinen. I think this move does two good things for the top line. Number one they get a true play making center. Number two this give Jokinen a chance to play on the wing where his game is best suited, as he is a goal scorer.
White is a guy that will score you 10 goals a year and lets remember he is a plus player on a very bad Maple Leafs team! He should slide into that #4 slot on the Flames. He is also a right handed shot which Calgary has needed on the point for quite a while.
Now going the other way the Leafs are getting a potential #1 defenceman in Dion Phaneuf. Dion can be a guy that gets you 20 goals a year and lets remember the mental game he brings where people have to be ready to be nailed if they come in with thier heads down on his side. To suggest that he is not the best player in this trade would be insane.
In Keith Aulie the Leafs are getting a solid prospect, who down the road should be a solid #4 or #5 defenceman for a few years to come. But realistically he was anywhere from #8 to #11 on the Flames depth chart.
Obviously the full affect of the trade will not be known for a few years, but I think this is a good move for both teams. The Flames now have two legitimate scoring lines, which has obviously been a problem recently. The Leafs get a potential All star defenceman in Phaneuf.
I'm honestly most happy for Dion Phaneuf who was public enemy #1 in Calgary and rightly or wrongly was getting killed by the press and bloggers for being a cancer in the locker room. A fresh start should be good for Dion and I think he will take the reigns as the #1 guy in Toronto very well.
From the Flames side of things Mark Giordano made this move possible. With his emergence as a top flight defenceman in the league Dion was expendable, and can give the Flames some financial flexibility down the road. I also think Robyn Regher will benefit from this move as it was clear he and Dion just were not a good pairing.
Yes Flames fans we are giving up a potential all star, but at the end of the day there was not enough scoring up front, and you just trade Phaneuf for 120-130 points in forward scoring, and a very good defenceman in Ian White. Aulie was never going to be more than a #6 defenceman for the Flames so his loss shouldn't be felt.
Stajan being a UFA is a risk but if he develops chemistry with Iginla it should encourage him to resign, if not then you have freed up cap money to sign someone in the off season.
Bottom Line is the Flames win this trade now. Down the road I think the Leafs will be very happy too. Win Win on this trade!
Have a good one!
One final note: Thank God for the Oilers! And it was nice to see Iginla have a big night.
About the Author
Written by Shane Hoopfer
Die hard Flames fan since 1980, and a closet baseball junkie. Also a big Dolphins, and Stampeders fan!