Popular Wiemer missed

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:01 PM ET

His equipment and name plate are no longer in the Saddledome.

But Jason Wiemer won't be quickly forgotten by his former Calgary Flames teammates.

"It's tough to lose a guy like that. He was a guy that didn't play all that much but he's a big part of this dressing room," said winger Darren McCarty yesterday of the man who was traded to the New Jersey Devils on trade deadline day for a fourth-round draft pick. "He's a buddy and he'll be missed that way. Hopefully everything works out for him."

Wiemer, likely distraught after being traded away from such a tight-knit locker-room crew that has to be considered a front-runner for the impending playoffs, didn't speak to the Calgary media Thursday.

Yesterday, centre Byron Ritchie was set up in what used to be Wiemer's stall.

Defenceman Cale Hulse, who was recently on the incoming side of a Flames trade, said Wiemer's departure came as a shock.

The two played junior hockey together in the WHL with Portland and furthered their friendship during their initial stints with the Flames between 1998 and 2000.

"That's tough. That was a surprise, I think, to a lot of guys in here," Hulse said of the deal.

"You never want to see guys go, especially friends, guys that you've played with over a number of years. I talked to him briefly. It's stuff that's totally out of our control as players and you have to make the best of a situation. I know that the type of guy Wiems is and what he can bring as a player, I think it's a great opportunity for him."

Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter said Thursday the move would likely give Wiemer an opportunity for more playing time in New Jersey. Wiemer played 33 games as a Flame and scored a goal and three points, with a minus-3 rating and 38 penalty minutes.

"The most important thing is to play. He gets in the lineup, plays, does what he can -- he can contribute there," said Hulse.

"A team out east, Jersey has as good a chance as anyone to go far in the playoffs."


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