Hagman Claimed by Ducks
The Niklas Hagman era in Calgary has come to an end as the much maligned winger was picked up on re-entry waivers by the Anaheim Ducks today.
Now, maybe not the most significant era in the annals of the Flaming C but one that caused controversy from the very beginning.
Hagman came to Calgary alongside press box junkie Matt Stajan, current Red Wing Ian White and current Blackhawk Jamal Mayers for Dion Phaneuf, Keith Aulie, and Freddy Sjostrom.
In 108 games with Calgary he racked up 17 goals and 25 assists – not exactly numbers worth the $3 million price tag.
After showing promise in Dallas and Toronto putting up three consecutive seasons with 20 + goals – including the season he was traded to Calgary – his consistency fell off and his knack for putting rubber past goaltenders went MIA.
So now he leaves Calgary, replaced, more or less, by Paul Byron and Roman Horak – two young speedy, hungry players looking to make their mark on the NHL.
But going back to the trade that brought him here… it just keeps getting worse and worse doesn’t it?
Now the Flames have only Stajan and his fat contract, and technically Babchuk left (as he was brought in for Ian White) for what was a top defensive prospect and Dion, who although controversial and sometimes spacey in his own zone, had value far greater than his return.
First Calgary trades Doug Gilmour for Gary Leeman…now fans will have, and have had, this extremely lop-sided deal to vent over for the next decade.
But at least GM Jay Feaster knows that he inherited a mess and he is doing his best to clean it up, while keeping the team semi competitive.
The $1.5 million in relief that Hagman’s contract will provide (remember Calgary is still on the hook for half his salary even though Anaheim claimed him) the Flames with some flexibility during the season.
The ugly swamp of garbage that Darryl Sutter left in his wake is slowly dissipating…you can almost see daylight.
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