March 11th, 2003


Undo the Past

Dean McAmmond Returns to Calgary

by D'Arcy McGrath

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 Drury.

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 Chris Drury.

The McAmmond Line

Edmonton 303 gp, 61-100-161, .531 ppg 
Chicago 154 gp, 25-40-65, .422 ppg
Philadelphia 10 gp, 1-1-2, .200 ppg 
Calgary 73 gp, 21-30-51, .699 ppg
Colorado 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 here".

"I know Dean's happy to be coming back here".

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 third line.

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.

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