Monday, February 1, 2010

Kotalik Sent Packing?

The Rangers sent summer acquisition Ales Kotalik packing today.  They reportedly had a trade in place, but experienced some complications and instead sent Kotalik home to prepare for his next move.  That's the official word out of the Rangers organization.

However, TSN's Darren Dreger (he who breaks news on all NHL personnel happenings) is reporting via Twitter that the Rangers and Flames are set to announce a trade.  According to Dreger, the proposed deal would send Kotalik and Christopher Higgins to the Flames in exchange for Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust.  More recently Dreger tweeted that the Flames appear to be holding up the trade at this point, but he isn't sure why.

Since we're not plugged into the situation, all we can do is break down the trade that has been discussed.  If  the deal does indeed go down as told by Dreger, the Rangers will receive the Olli Jokinen, the NHL's version of Stephon Marbury--a veteran scorer who had never been to the postseason until last year--and Brandon Prust, a smaller (5'11" 195 lbs.) tough guy who will chip in a point here (1g, 4a so far this season) or there and will stand up for his teammates.  Both are set to be unrestricted free agents after the season.  In an odd twist to this story, Prust was traded to Phoenix at the deadline last year in the deal that sent Jokinen to the Flames, only to later be traded back to the Flames in the summer for Jim Vandermeer.

Going to Calgary would be Higgins, who has struggled to score since arriving on Broadway and will be a free agent this summer.  Also, Kotalik would take his rocket slap shot, inconsistent even strength play, and 2 more years at $3m per year back to Alberta (he spent part of last season in Edmonton).  If this trade goes through as proposed it will be another win for Glen Sather in the trade department, even if it's only to fix another bad foray into free agency.

UPDATE: Larry Brooks is currently reporting that the complication from yesterday was that the trade originally included a Rangers D going to Calgary, but they made a late request for Higgins to be included instead.

UPDATE 8:12am: According to Sportsnet, the hold up is on Kotalik's end.  Apparently he has a limited no trade clause that identifies 3 teams he can not be traded to without first agreeing to the deal...and Calgary is one of the 3 teams.

2 things: First, why wouldn't Sather ask Kotalik about this before he put a deal together?  Also, why did Kotalik get ANY form of no trade clause to begin with??  Wasn't the $3m per year for 3 years enough to get him to sign?...a huge win for Sather may just have turned into a huge disaster.

More on this as it develops...

UPDATE 7:05pm Monday: Darren Dreger is now reporting that the deal is very much in play and could be finalized tonight after the Flames-Flyers game.

There were varied reports throughout the day, with everything from the Flames wanting Jokinen for tonight's game to Kotalik not waiving his NTC to the Flames demanding that Ryan Callahan be in the deal instead of Higgins.  To be clear, the Rangers will definitely not trade Ryan Callahan for a rental (and possibly not at all).  The more I hear about this, the more it seems like the Flames just wanted Jokinen for tonight's game...weird things coming out of Team Sutter in Calgary.

UPDATE 12:42am Tuesday: Bob McKenzie of TSN just reported via Twitter that the trade call is going on right now with the Rangers, Flames, and the league office.  Should be finalized shortly and is as talked about yesterday: Kotalik/Higgins for Jokinen/Prust.

UPDATE 12:59am Tuesday: Courteousy of Bob McKenzie once again: "From @DarrenDreger: Trade call is over. Done deal."

I'll have more on this tomorrow, including a deeper breakdown of the deal and its implications.  Goodnight.


  1. i think he will take the trade, otherwise, he will spend the rest of the season wearing his armani suit in the press box.

  2. PLEASE let us trade him. As much as I hate Jokinnen, this would be a vast improvement.