Olli Jokinen To Rangers; Ales Kotalik and Chris Higgins headed to Calgary

TSN is reporting that Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust have been traded to the New York Rangers for Chris Higgins and Ales Kotalik. I chimed in with my thoughts on the (then) potential trade earlier today in the comments, but let's reiterate-- dumb, dumb deal for Calgary. On two levels.

The first is salary cap management. Jokinen, who obviously hasn't worked out for the Flames, comes off the books at the end of this season. That would have freed up $5.25 M for Sutter to work with next year. Instead of riding that contract out and eventually cutting ties, he decides to bring in Ales Kotalik for the next two seasons at $3.0 M, a player who has underperformed so vastly he's been scratched in eight of the last nine games for the mediocre Rangers. Makes absolutely no business sense, both in the fact that the outgoing contracts ($5.75 M for Jokinen/Prust) versus incoming contracts ($5.25 M for Higgins/Kotalik) free up very little space for him to make a further deal this season, as well as the fact that he is now burdened with another horrible contract on the roster in the future. This time for two more years, instead of four more months.

The second is the fact that Sutter, according to the trustworthy Darren Dreger, stalled this deal 24 hours because he wanted Jokinen and Prust to play tonight for the Flames. Bush league. You have to wonder how that is going to affect the locker room going forward, as well as how that is going to affect his opportunity to sign free agents in the upcoming offseason(s), when incoming players are well aware that they may be jerked around. Sure it's a business, and I understand that, but this is one of those situations where common sense should override the desire to try and squeeze out the last drop of whatever production Jokinen is going to give you.

I know I gave Sutter a glowing review earlier today, but this trade absolutely reeks. If he doesn't manage to parlay Kotalik into something else before the deadline it's safe to say he's lost his damn mind.

From tulips to turds. From tulips to turds.

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