Shake Things Up
Reinprect and Sauve to the Desert
February 1st, 2006
Oh the irony.
When Darryl Sutter drafted his son at the exact same draft
position, 179th overall, he laughed out loud at the coincidence.
I wonder if he knows what February 1st means in
Twenty years ago tonight, believe it or not, cars crowded
out of the then Olympic Saddledome parking lot hearing that moments after the
home town Flames erased a 4-0 Edmonton Oiler lead to tie their arch rivals at
four they had completed a trade.
Later on video we all saw Cliff Fletcher announcing the
principles in a gut wrenching order that featured the Calgary departures (Eddy
Beers, Gino Cavallini and Charlie Bourgeois) followed by St. Louis Blue fodder
(Rick Wilson, Terry Johnson) and then … Joey Mullen.
All this while Badger Bob Johnson played with a tinfoil
ashtray to a point of distraction.
It was classic Calgary Flames history.
Now twenty years later we all get to our vehicles and guess
what, Peter Maher, the same guy making the announcement twenty years ago, utters
“the Flames have completed a trade tonight”.
Like I said, irony.
Not even close. That trade was a building block to a
Stanley Cup, an addition of a star player for a maybe (Beers) that turned the
tables on the Edmonton Oilers.
Tonight it was different. This time the Oilers are chasing
Calgary, and the Flames are moving a few minor pieces around, but a shake up
Going to Phoenix, if I might take a page from Mr. Fletcher
and put things in the same order, is talented but enigmatic centerman Steve
Reinprecht, and befuddled and disparaged backup Phil Sauve, for a power-winger
lite Mike Leclerc, and Brian Boucher.
My take? Good move all around.
I’m not a Brian Boucher fan to be honest, but the Flames
now have the current season shut out leader as a starter and the all time
consecutive minutes without allowing a goal NHL record holder as a backup.
"We wanted an experienced goaltender, particularly
with the schedule we have after the Olympic break," said Sutter on the
Ironically again, I was actually in Phoenix on the night
that the mayor of Glendale Arizona made a big presentation to Mr. Boucher for
his legacy. The Flames on a Shean Donovan penalty shot went on to beat Sean
Burke and the Coyotes.
However, Boucher is an experience upgrade to Sauve, the guy
was the man that carried the Flyers two rounds in the playoffs four years ago,
including that marathon game at the Igloo when Keith Primeau beat Johan Hedberg.
And I was no apologist for Phil Sauve’s play in his last two starts.
Up front, the emergence of Matthew Lombardi moved Steve
Reinprecht down the roster, and Mike Leclerc a guy more suited to the Flames as
a left winger with size and a little pop.
"Leclerc is a big strong guy with good hands who
drives the net hard and can play two positions," said Sutter.
Since Steve Reinprecht is a UFA at the end of the season,
I’d have to assume that Leclerc is as well, or this deal is a huge steal for
the Flames (Leclerc signed a one year deal with the Ducks in August before being
traded to the Coyotes to make salary space for Brian Burke’s mess).
Sutter admitted to media after the game that this deal
wasn’t as sudden as it seems to Calgary faithful, and that perhaps the forward
for forward deal expanded with the play of Sauve in Denver last week.
is something we had worked on for a long time," said Sutter.
My first thought is there you go … Sutter does it again,
adding two names that nobody has thought of despite the list of goaltenders that
have paraded across phone in radio shows, and message boards for days.
He does that. You have to love it. Predictable is boring.
Are the Flames done? Likely not. Look at this one as the
Chris Simon deal from two years ago. The Flames make a move with a few weeks to
go until the deadline, and then go on to add a few more pieces (Marcus Nilson
and Ville Niemienen later).
to hand it to the guy, Bitter Beer Face meets Poker Face.