By: Adam Gretz
After spending the past six seasons with the Calgary Flames veteran forward Daymond Langkow has been traded to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forward Lee Stempniak.
Here's what Flames general manager Jay Feaster had to say in a team-released statement: "It is never easy moving a player who battles and competes such as Daymond; however, because of our depth and options at centre ice, this trade presents us with an opportunity to positively impact the organization in a number of ways. It makes us younger and provides an opportunity to evaluate a player who may factor into our plans for the future, it provides (coach) Brent (Sutter) with options as Stempniak can play either wing and can be used on both the power play and the penalty kill and it creates healthy competition among the forward group for ice time."
Langkow, who will turn 35 later this month, is coming off a neck injury last season that limited him to just four games. He is signed through the end of this season at a cap hit of $4.5 million, making it a rather expensive -- financially speaking -- gamble. There's also the fact that Phoenix traded a younger, cheaper player that isn't coming off an injury that cost him nearly a full season.
Prior to last season Langkow's offensive production was in a pretty steep decline, going from 33 goals and 77 points during the 2006-07 season -- his peak season in the NHL -- all the way down to 14 goals and 37 assists in 2009-10 with a steady downward trend during the years in between.
Before the trade Calgary was up against the NHL's salary cap with over $63.2 million in salary (via CapGeek), so the move definitely helps clear some space.
In exchange for Langkow the Flames get the 27-year-old Stempniak who is coming off a 19-goal, 19-assist performance with the Coyotes last season. He's shown nice offensive ability throughout his career but has had some issues with consistency. He's in the last year of a contract that has a $1.9 million cap hit, so the deal saves Calgary $2.6 million in cap space.
Once Langkow joins the Coyotes he will instantly become the second-highest paid forward on the team, trailing only their captain Shane Doan, and the fourth-highest paid player overall, behind only Doan and defenseman Keith Yandle and Michal Rozsival. It will be Langkow's second stop with the Coyotes, having spent three years with the team between 2001 and 2004, scoring 68 goals in 243 games.