It’s Official

I went to bed last night, so I wasn’t awake to get this post up when it happened. The trade is official. The Rangers have acquired Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust from Calgary in exchange for Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins.

In the end, Jokinen essentially replaces Higgins in the lineup, as Kotalik had been a healthy scratch for the previous eight of nine, and was going to be for the foreseeable future. The Rangers also get some much needed grit and fighting ability in the young Prust.

The Rangers don’t lost lose (me no speak englis) much in Kotalik, but Higgins’ departure will be felt more than people realize. Higgins did a lot more for the Rangers than what showed up on the scoreboard, but the final decision is that the Rangers need scoring, not gritty forwards.

In terms of salary, Prust is an RFA at the end of the year, and makes a minimal salary. Jokinen, making $5.25 million, is a UFA at the end of the year, and will likely not be re-signed. The Rangers shed Kotalik’s $3 million for the next two seasons. Higgins is a UFA.

Grade this trade as a win for Sather. He addressed two holes while dealing from spare parts. Well done.

Update 9:05am: Matchsticks and Gasoline (main Flames blog) is really pissed. When you think about it, they traded Matt Lombardi, Brandon Prust, James Vandermeer, and a 1st round pick for Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins. Ouch.

Update 9:30am: The Depth Chart has been updated to reflect the trade.