When the Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche
completed a five player trade during training camp this fall, the focus was
justifiably aimed at the deal's two principal players; Derek Morris and Chris
Derek Morris, an up and coming defensive star
traded for a Stanley Cup clutch performer in Chris Drury made headlines
throughout North American pushing all other hockey matters to back pages in
hockey city dailies.
Also dealt on that fateful day however was a very
popular player in Dean McAmmond. McAmmond had a renaissance of sorts in Calgary,
playing the unheralded left wing role on the dynamic Craig Conroy - Jarome
Iginla line - one of the top lines of hockey.
McAmmond didn't want to leave Calgary, and the
Flames didn't want to include him, but had to in order to land the big fish in
The McAmmond Line
||303 gp, 61-100-161, .531 ppg
||154 gp, 25-40-65, .422 ppg
||10 gp, 1-1-2, .200 ppg
||73 gp, 21-30-51, .699 ppg
||41 gp, 10-8-18, .439 ppg
That wrong was once again made right today when
Craig Button reacquired the winger from the Avalanche for a conditional 5th
round draft pick.
A betting man would suggest McAmmond will likely
reassume his role on the Conroy/Iginla line as early as tonight when the Flames
host the salary stripped Edmonton Oilers, or as late as Thursday night when the
rebuilt Maple Leafs come a calling.
The deal doesn't come without risk however, with
McAmmond reportedly heading towards unrestricted free agency this summer. For
the "playing out the string" Flames to make this move suggests Button figures
McAmmond's signature is merely a formality or he would have waited until this
summer to make a pitch.
"We underestimated the importance of Dean
McAmmond on the Craig Conroy Jarome Iginla line", said Craig Button.
"We had a lot of different line mates on
that line this year. Dean can skate, he can shoot, he can hold the line. Some
time in that stretch in November we realized that Dean McAmmond was a really
strong fit there".
"As time goes on you wait to see if there's
a chance to reacquire that player".
"It's a tribute to the professionalism of
the Colorado franchise. They recognized he wasn't a fit there and was a fit
"I know Dean's happy to be coming back
With McAmmond back in the fold Dave Lowry will
likely move down a spot or two, possibly to Niedermayer's old spot on the club's
The tale of the Colorado
Calgary trade now stands at Chris Drury, Stephane Yelle, Dean McAmmond for Derek
Morris, Jeff Shantz and a 5th round pick.
It's anyone's guess where Shane
Donovan will fit in, acquired in a separate deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins
for Micki Dupont and Mattias Johansson.