March 11th, 2003


Fan Whipping Boy Going to Disneyland

Rob Niedermayer Dealt for Damphousse and Commadore

by D'Arcy McGrath

Calgary Flames fans will have to find a new target.

Rob Niedermayer, the Western Canadian center with the big salary ticket was traded to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks for goalie prospect J.F. Damphousse and Mike Commadore.

Damphousse has played 31 games this season with the Ducks farm team in Cincinnati, posting a 12-14-4 record with a 3.13 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

Mike Commodore played 61 games with Cincinnati scoring two goals and adding nine assists.

The deal itself was ripe with irony.

The Niedermayer Line

Florida 518 gp, 101-165-266, .514 ppg 
Calgary 111 gp, 14-24-38, .342 ppg

Exhibit A: Rob Niedermayer was traded to the Calgary Flames at the NHL Entry Draft in Sunrise Florida for disgruntled winger Val Bure.

Both players moved on to new homes again today; Niedermayer moved to Anaheim and Val Bure moved to the St. Louis Blues for defenceman Mike Van Ryn.

Exhibit B: The Players acquired in the Rob Niedermayer deal today were also acquired together in the Anaheim - New Jersey deal this past summer along with Petr Sykora, a trade that almost went down with the Calgary Flames.

Add in the fact that Niedermayer's brother plays with the Devils and you basically have a mystical deal made in the stars.

Tough Sledding in Calgary

Rob Niedermayer's stay in Calgary was never an easy ride.

Though the baggage encumbered Bure was a player that simply had to go, he was a popular player with a very strong fan following in Calgary. 

Niedermayer came out of the gates a little rough in Calgary, suffered injuries and had a terrible time getting untracked.

The fans justifiably focused on his 2.1 million dollar salary coupled with his low production wasting no chance to ride the player each and every time he touched the puck.

"I really like Rob Niedermayer, I think in the last two months we saw what Rob Niedermayer was capable of. Given the economics, we feel in balance in adding Dean McAmmond and Sean Donovan and giving up Rob Niedermayer".

For Craig Button the move provides a measure of retribution as he managed to turn Niedermayer into two mid range prospects, a step up from the "just walk away" calls from fans this past summer when he re-upped to sign Niedermayer.

"Damphousse is a former number one pick of the New Jersey Devils, we need to add some young goaltending, and we'll work with him to make him better".

"Both players will go to Saint John".

It also opens some salary space for the Flames, as Niedermayer was set to trigger an option on his contract for next season for another 2.1 million. 

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