Sources tell TSN the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames are expected to announce a trade that will send Calgary centre Olli Jokinen and forward Brandon Prust to the Rangers in exchange for forwards Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins.

Jokinen was originally acquired by Calgary from the Phoenix Coyotes at last year’s trade deadline. The 31-year old veteran has 11 goals and 24 assists in 55 games with the Flames this season.

Prust, 25, will potentially land in New York after taking a circuitous route between Calgary and Phoenix so far in his career. He was drafted by the Flames in the third round of the 2004 draft, and was traded to Phoenix at last year’s trade deadline in the deal that brought Jokinen to Calgary. Prust was then traded back to the Flames last summer for Jim Vandermeer. The native of London, Ontario has one goal and four assists in 42 games this season in Calgary.

Kotalik, 31, had been sent home from New York’s road trip earlier on Sunday after being told by the team that he would be traded. He has been scratched by head coach John Tortorella in eight of the club’s last nine games. Kotalik was signed to a three-year, $9 million deal as a free agent by New York last summer.



  1. leafy says:

    Was the trade deadline changed to February 1st?

  2. CofRED says:

    Awful trade for Calgary.  It makes no sense to me.  I've been as outspoken as anyone about how useless Jokenin has been but I would have thought for sure he'd be worth more than that.  And to give up Prust too…he's the type of guy the Flames would want if they were to make the playoffs.  If they want to make any noise, they need that spark plug/instigator type of player.  In '04, they had Ville Neimenin.  Not the most skilled player but he drove the other teams NUTS.  That's the kind of guy playoff contenders need and Prust was the closest they had.  I would have rather they give up Nystrom than Prust…Don't get me wrong, I like Nystrom too, it's just my opinion.  Besides, McGratton wouldn't be dressing much in the playoffs, but Prust would still give them that take-on-anyone presence.

    And for what??  An expensive healthy scratch on the books for 2 more years at 3 mil each??  Cheaper than Jokenin sure, but at least he would be off the books July 1st.  And Higgins…maybe a change of venue will do him some good but it's a big gamble.

    I backed Sutter on the Leafs/Flames trade because something had to be done with Phaneuf and from what I've seen from him in the last 2 years, it really wasn't as lopsided a trade as some are making it out to be.  But now I'm starting to wonder if he's lost his bloody mind.

  3. leafy says:

    Unless the Flames are going after a game breaker like Lecavalier or Richards.

    But without adding a game breaker, I agree, not a good trade. Depth players are easily shut down in the playoffs.

    Some things to consider:

    Kotalik – terrific shot when he was with Buffalo. What's happened to that great shot?

    Higgins – great speed with scoring touch with the Habs. What's happened to that scoring touch?

    If they can rediscover their form of 2 or 3 years ago, that would be ideal.

    With the Flames adding Kotalik, Higgins, Hagman, and Stajan, nobody can say the Flames don't have depth.  But they've got to get a game breaker.

  4. broc says:

    I don't get how Kotalik or Higgins are supposed to be an upgrade to Jokinen?

    Especially Kotalik driving your cap hit up by 3 mil for 2 more seasons after this. If he doesn't improve, you're stuck with him.

    meh, hopefully they distribute better than Jok I guess..

  5. mojo19 says:


    I guess with the olympic trade freeze coming up next week, pro-active GM's like Sutter and Burke are trying to get their big deals done sooner than later. Because once the trade freeze is over, there are only a couple days before the actual deadline.

    That's the only explanation i can come up with.

  6. mojo19 says:

    Ales Kotalik is fast and has some definite skill, but I am not a big fan.

    During his years with Buffalo I went to a lot of Sabres games and saw him live. The fans in Buffalo did not like this guy, and for good reason. For all his skill, he is a play killer because he is a hog, and not a smart shooter. Buffalo would be controlling the play and dominating and get it to Kotalik who would instinctively snap it, often wide, or into an opposing players shin pads, and kill the play.

    Happened all the time.

    But I guess Jokinen was a shooter too, so its a shooter for a shooter. Iggy is a shooter and so is Hagman. What this team really needs is a pure playmaker, like they had in Tanguay, and somewhat in Huselius.

  7. Bure96 says:

    What? That doesn't make any sense at all. Ales Kotalik, and Chris Higgins are both useless. Yes, I know Olli Jokinen hasn't been great this even, but even an underperforming Olli Jokinen is wayyyyy better then either of those players. They don't clear a ton of cap room, and already cleared done early by trading Phaneuf away, so they make this move to give them some breathing room under the salary cap so they could make another trade. It's not like either of these players would be assets in a trade for a guy like Kovalchuk, Richards, or Lecavalier anyways.

    This is such a bad trade for the Flames, and seriously makes zero sense.

  8. mojo19 says:

    Rene Bourque – Matt Stajan – Jarome Iginla
    Niklas Hagman – Daymon Langkow – Ales Kotalik
    Chris Higgins – Jamie Lundmark – Curtis Glencross
    Eric Nystrom – Jamal Mayers – Dustin Boyd

    Jay Bouwmeester – Robyn Regehr
    Cory Sarich – Ian White
    Mark Giordano – Adam Pardy

    Mikka Kiprusoff
    Curtis McElhinney

    IR – Craig Conroy, Nigel Dawes, David Moss
    x – Aaron Johnson, Brian McGratton

  9. pj1199 says:

    Rangers made out nice with this deal! Both players that the Rangers gave up were useless. Kotalik has been scratched for 9 of the last 10 games. Higgins couldnt score if the goalie got out of the way. With Jokinen we get another center to try with Gaborik. This move also allows the Rangers move Dubinsky down to the 2nd line and take some pressure of of him. The Rangers also get some cap relief for the next few years as Kotalik was due 3 million for the next 2 years. With Marc Staal up for his first big contract this makes a lot of sense for them.

  10. albertateams says:

    I don't like this trade unless Sutter has another deal in the works. Too many depth forwards.





    16 forwards, 14 if you think Backlund and Lundmark go back down.

    TSN is reporting the deal has stalled makes me think that there is another deal Sutter is trying to make.

  11. Tachmo says:

    That's a shame for Calgary if Matt Stajan is the top dog at Center. He was over rated just by playing in Toronto is no better than a 3rd line center.
    Ouch for Calgary!

  12. mojo19 says:

    I know, I originally wanted to put Langkow in as the #1 centre, but looking at their numbers, it has to be Stajan.

    I wouldn't say he's no better than a 3rd line centre, I think coming off a 55 pt season and having 41 so far this year, its fair to say that he's a decent 2nd-3rd line centre.

  13. the_word says:

    B. Sutter wants to be able to roll four lines, he must have been tired on sending out underachievers like Joikenen.  Joikenen isn't a gamebreaker anymore, given that Matt Stajan is out scoring him this year by five goals its hard to justify how the Flames haven't gotten significantly better up front with their two deals.  Ugly trade on paper but typical of the Rangers to bring in an overpaid name whose game is deteriorated.

    D. Sutter's deals remind me of the Leafs and Flames last game.  Mayer's best game of the year, Joikenen getting filled by Beachemin without landing a punch. It would appear that Burke's lineup indulging some gooning actually does serve for some payoff. I'm sure the Sutters didn't much care to seeing their team come up short on toughness.

  14. reinjosh says:

    Yeah both kind of died in Ranger land
    Something tells me that Sutter had a deal that was happening right after this which fell through, had a 3rd team drop out, or the two are trying to get a 3rd team involved.
    Even if they were trying to go after a game breaker like Richards or Vinny you would think that Jokinen would be involved to get that specific player. It would help even out salaries, plus (especially for Dallas and Tampa) it just makes sense if a team is trying to cut salary through the deal that they take a guy like Jokinen who is a UFA at the end of the season.
    These are really the only things that make sense.
    And they would have too much depth. 15 forwards plus Lundmark and Backlund?
    Doesn't make a lot of sense too me.

  15. mojo19 says:

    Sutters preach toughness. And you're right, Mayers had a good game against the flames in (december?). And Burke said that Sutter insisted on Mayers being part of the package, which tells you it wasn't just a throw in for salary or something.

    The other thing is that Mayers can play centre or wing, and the Sutter might view him as the 4th line centre on a gritty line.

  16. reinjosh says:

    The move Sutter just made was more about getting a guy who should work well with Iggy than getting Iggy a top playmaker.
    The team doesn't need nor want to waste assets getting a guy who is going to take up a huge amount a room on the cap. They also don't want him to block the use of Backlund (who si being groomed as the next top center for either next season or the one after).
    So by getting a guy like Stajan, they are getting a guy who came relatively cheap (getting Hagman and White and him, while not an ideal package for Phaneuf was probably better than trading for Brad Richards straight up) and who can play well with Iggy for the now.

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