Pretty interesting deal. Calgary gets Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart; Boston acquires Chuck Kobasew and Andrew Ference. I didn’t know this but Ference was apparently a somewhat regular poster on Calgary Puck under the name of okotoker. He’s a surprisingly well written guy – you don’t get the impression that that would be true of very many hockey players. He posted the following on Calgary Puck after the deal was announced:
Wow, I am sitting in a hotel room in Buffalo just trying to register everything right now. I really appreciate the kind words in the other thread, it means a lot to me to hear that. I honestly could not have been caught more off guard or thought I could be so sad to say bye to the guys. I have so much respect for the players in the locker room and if I can’t hold the cup I would love nothing more than to see my good friends do it there. Thanks again for all of the kind words and for being such great fans, it was truly special for me to play for the Flames and come across so many wonderful people during that time. Thanks, Andrew Ference, Go Bruins
That’s really unfortunate for him – Calgary’s a fantastic shot to come out of the West and he’s moving to Boston. The B’s have an interesting team going forward, I think, which is something that Ference will be a part of as he’s signed at a reasonable rate for some time to come but geez. If Calgary makes a run, Marty Reasoner should give him a call and share the pain.
From Boston’s perspective, this is a better deal than the one that they made for Sergei Samsonov last year, which struck me as quite possibly the stupidest trade deadline deal, I’ve ever seen, in terms of getting something that will help in the future. Chuck Kobasew is signed for another year before he becomes an RFA; Ference is signed through 2009-10. I’m not sure what there is to say about Chuck Kobasew – I don’t think he’s a very good player. He’s a guy who couldn’t establish himself on a Flames team that was desperate for offence. He’s in his age 24 season, has to score be worth anything and hasn’t done it yet. He’s not the kind of player who you build a team around.
I don’t think that there can be any doubt that the Flames are better off with Stuart than they were without him. I’m interested to see where they are for next year though. They’ve now got 12 guys signed for next year at about $30.5MM, give or take. There’s some discussion that next year might be difficult for the Flames – I don’t see it. They’re not losing anyone significant. They look like they’ll have $18MM to replace Tony Amonte, Jeff Friesen, Marcus Nilson, Darren McCarty, Byron Ritchie, Roman Hamrlik and Jamie McLennan. Mark Giordano and Matt Lombardi need new contracts as well. You can now add Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau to the list.
The only thing that’s a little misleading is that while the Flames have that money to sign guys, they aren’t really going to be in a position to be offering anyone term with the looming Judgment Day of July 1, 2008 when Jarome Iginla, Miikka Kiprusoff and Robyn Regehr all become UFA’s. There’s no reason that they can’t put together as good or better of a team for next year though; one more year…one more year…one more year…