Lee Stempniak

Calgary trades Daymond Langkow to Phoenix for Lee Stempniak

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Perhaps Coyotes GM Don Maloney was on the same wavelength we were today. After we broke down how the Coyotes would need a bit more help up the middle to make a run at the playoffs this year, they’ve gone out and picked up some experienced help up the middle. Phoenix has acquired Daymond Langkow from Calgary pending a physical in exchange for Lee Stempniak.

Langkow will slot in behind Martin Hanzal at center and comes back to an organization that traded him away back in 2004. With a host of youngsters that could vie for a spot at center, Langkow gives Phoenix stability at a position that was sorely lacking in NHL-quality depth. The question with Langkow comes in his health since returning from a broken neck injury that kept him out most of last season. Langkow did come back last season for the Flames’ final four games of the year and finished with one assist.

source: APIf he can fully return to form, he’s a solid set-up man and a guy capable of getting 50 points per season. Langkow will also help solidify the Coyotes position above the salary floor as he’ll arrive with a $4.5 million cap hit. On the downside, he’ll be 35 years-old this season joining Shane Doan (35) and Ray Whitney (39) as the elder statesmen on the team. You know what you’ll get from all three players, the question is can they sustain their level of play the way they’re capable of doing.

Stempniak will join a Calgary team in need of a little help scoring-wise on the wings. While Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, and Rene Bourque are legit threats the Flames were in need of a little bit more and Stempniak will help that out being a guy capable of 20-25 goals in a year. Calgary will be a bit thinner at center without Langkow, but they’re hoping David Moss and Mikael Backlund can have breakout seasons up the middle. Matthew Stajan is also there to fill in depth-wise. Calgary trading out Langkow’s lofty salary for Stempniak’s $1.9 cap hit is a nice cost-cutting move for GM Jay Feaster as well. According to CapGeek.com, the Flames will be $3.5 million under the cap after this deal.

The way to break this down from the Flames’ standpoint is that they’re giving up a high-priced guy who may or may not be able to produce the way he used to before his neck injury for a guy they know what exactly they’ll get out of in Stempniak. Phoenix fills a need by getting a legitimate center while cutting loose one of their many wingers. Tough to say that it’s a win-win trade for both teams right now, but at the least both sides got what they were looking for.

Update: Wisniewski tore ACL 47 seconds into ‘Canes debut

James Wisniewski, John-Michael Liles, Elias Lindholm
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Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.

Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.

From the club:

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.

Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.

This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.

Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.

Jordan Weal to make NHL debut for Kings

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Two days after an uninspiring performance versus San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings will be getting an injection of youthful enthusiasm tonight versus Arizona.

Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed today that Jordan Weal will make his NHL debut at Staples Center.

A 23-year-old center, Weal is expected to replace Andy Andreoff and skate between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line.

“It’s really exciting,” Weal told LA Kings Insider. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this part of my career, and the hard work’s just going to continue. It’s going to keep going, and I’m trying to do as much as I can in this game and keep improving from this game moving forward in trying to solidify a solid spot in the lineup.”

The 70th overall pick in 2010, Weal had 69 points in 73 games last season for AHL Manchester.

Related: Jordan Weal is looking to make the leap