Fishing season for GM Sutter

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:32 PM ET

If you believe Calgary Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter is trying to land a big fish, who is he dangling as bait?

That is the question on most fans' and pundits' minds as Thursday's trade deadline approaches.

But you can't say the same about defenceman Jordan Leopold, whose name has been mentioned on TV sports networks, radio call-in shows and Internet forums as the Flames' tastiest worm.

Leopold, though, lives by the motto ignorance is bliss.

"I don't even watch the TV," he said when asked how much attention he pays to the trade-crazy media. "I don't read the paper. I understand the media's and other people's jobs, too, but my job is to go out and perform on the ice.

"Stuff that's written in papers or on TV, I can't take control of that and I can't let it affect myself emotionally."

With 10 defencemen having played NHL games for the Flames this season, Sutter has the depth to deal one should the return be valuable enough.

For Leopold, a 25-year-old averaging more than 22 minutes of ice time per game alongside the untouchable Robyn Regehr, the price would be high -- despite the fact the blueliner touted as an offensive prospect is goal-less through 59 games. He had three shots at St. Louis Blues goaltender Curtis Sanford late in Thursday's game but couldn't end his drought.

"I felt like I had one," said Leopold, who has been solid defensively this season and ranks third on the team with a plus-8 rating.

Another Flame many believe has buying power on the trade market is young winger Chuck Kobasew.

But to give up their third-leading goal scorer on the season, the Flames would likely expect at least an equally productive offensive player signed beyond this season.

Role players Chris Simon and Shean Donovan could also be moved in any package deal.

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FLAMES' TRADE BAIT

FIVE PLAYERS WHO COULD BE MOVED

D Jordan Leopold -- Young, talented top-four defenceman with offensive upside.

RW Chuck Kobasew -- Speedy and soft-handed future 20-plus goal scorer.

LW Chris Simon -- Gritty checker with playoff character.

RW Shean Donovan -- Energetic speedster with great penalty-kill skills.

LW Eric Nystrom, AHL Omaha Knights -- Future NHL two-way specialist.

G Brent Krahn, AHL Omaha Knights -- The AHL player of the month's value has never been higher.


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