With day two of the NHL Draft under way, the Calgary Flames got busy wheeling and dealing. The long rumored deal with Buffalo involving Robyn Regehr was finalized sending Regehr and one-time Sabres forward Ales Kotalik to the Sabres in exchange for defenseman Chris Butler and young forward Paul Byron. Buffalo also gets Calgary’s second round pick in 2012.
For Calgary the main thing they get is salary relief. Regehr has two years left on his contract with a cap hit of $4.02 million per season. Kotalik has one year left on his deal worth $3 million. In getting Chris Butler, the Flames get a young depth defenseman who proved to be serviceable in Buffalo the last two seasons. Byron should prove to be a nice addition to their AHL team in Abbotsford.
Buffalo gets their man in Regehr, giving them a physical force on the blue line they’ve lacked for a long time. Regehr teamed up with Tyler Myers gives Buffalo a “thunder and lightning” top pairing. Regehr will provide a physical snarl to the Sarbes blue line and ensure that teams won’t be able to push them around near the net. Ryan Miller will be more than thankful for his presence.
Welcoming back Ales Kotalik is a bit odd, but he had great success in his years with the Sabres. He’s useful on the power play and has 20-goal ability. If he can recapture his old form to a degree with Buffalo, they’ll be happy to have him.
Calgary wasn’t done doing business however as they also signed forward Alex Tanguay to a five-year extension worth $17.5 million. The length of the deal is stunning considering Tanguay had a bounce back season after one terrible year in Tampa Bay. His production last season alongside Jarome Iginla made him an invaluable part of that top line. The money isn’t too terrible, but if Tanguay slips back into the form he had in Tampa Bay, it’ll be an awful contract to keep around. Tanguay’s been consistent throughout his career as a point producer and as long as he’s with Iginla he should do all right.