The prize? One of Mike Keenan's former players in Vancouver: Adrian Aucoin, who agreed to waive his no-trade clause to get the hell out of Chi-town.
Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced Friday the acquisition of defenseman Adrian Aucoin and a 7th round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defensemen Andrei Zyuzin and Steve Marr.
On the surface, the Flames completely appear to have ripped off the Blackhawks in terms of pure talent. When Aucoin is on his game, he's an effective 2-way defenseman who is blasting bullets from the point.
The problem? Aucoin has been anything but good the past two seasons. After signing a lucrative deal with the Hawks after the lockout, Aucoin was frequently injured and, when healthy, quite ineffective. How can a guy with his kind of shot score just five times in 92 games?
SEASON TEAM GP G A PTS
03-04 NYI 81 13 31 44
05-06 CHI 33 1 5 6
06-07 CHI 59 4 12 16
For the Hawks, this move is completely a salary dump, as Aucoin's $4mil salary will now be beared by the Flames while Zyuzin's $1.45mil figure will help the Hawks with some cash savings. Aucoin just did not pan out for the Hawks, and now they can get out from under this mistake and try again with somebody else.
Obviously, the move is a pricey gamble for the Flames, in terms of salary, but maybe Keenan can restore the old fire-and-brimstone into Aucoin's game. If Aucoin can get back to his old self, he will give the Flames an excellent right-shot on the Power Play, and provide a huge upgrade over Zyuzin.
Give this to the Hawks as a win. The Flames take the risk, and (potentially) upgrade at a position where they already are strong. The Hawks lose salary and a player that didn't perform well for them.