Jim dandy deal for club

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:14 AM ET

Asked what yesterday's deal that saw his Calgary Flames acquire rearguard Jim Vandermeer from the Philadelphia Flyers for a third-round pick in the 2009 draft brought to his team, general manager Darryl Sutter used only three words to answer.

"Another young defenceman," said Sutter, fresh off a few days in Florida.

Silence followed, but anyone who has ever seen the product of Caroline, Alta., play with the Flyers or Chicago Blackhawks knows what elements he adds.

Toughness. Attitude. Work ethic. Everything you want on the ice and in the locker-room as the playoffs approach.

"I was a little shocked there at first," said Vandermeer, who turns 28 today, after finding out he'd be on the move for a second time this year after getting shipped back to the Flyers from Chicago earlier this season.

"Once the shock wears off, you think about all the positives and you look forward to it. It's going to be good."

One member of the coaching staff is pretty certain of that, too.

"He's a guy I'm very excited about. I really enjoyed my time working with him," said Flames assistant Wayne Fleming, who held the same title in Philadelphia and coached Vandermeer until he was dealt to Chicago in a package for Alexei Zhamnov in 2004.

"When I was in Philly, I projected he was going to be one of the team captains of the Philadelphia Flyers, just because of the way he carried himself.

"He'll stand up to anybody physically, yet moves the puck very well and handles himself very well in a number of different situations. He's a fellow that I think will make a very strong impact coming back home to Alberta and to Calgary."

With seven Flames defencemen already on one-way deals, some will see the move as an addition of depth for the playoff drive.

"I don't see it as depth, I see it as a guy who can step in and play, that can complement a couple of our other young defencemen," said Sutter.

It's not the first time Sutter has considered making a deal for the 6-ft.-1, 208-lb. blueliner who was first signed by the Flyers as an undrafted free agent in 2000.

"Any time you go somewhere where you're wanted, it's definitely a good thing," Vandermeer said. "Some guys look at it like the team that traded you, they don't want you, but when you're wanted, that's a great thing."

Sutter now has to negotiate an extension with the former Red Deer Rebel if he wants to keep him beyond this season.

Vandermeer is due to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"If he wants to talk about that right away, I'm sure him and my agent (Brad Devine) will start talking about it," said Vandermeer. "Right now, it's just packing stuff and getting to Cowtown."

On top of the fact Calgary is close to home, Vandermeer's relationship with the Sutters from his time with the Rebels will add to his comfort level.

"I know him enough to joke around with him," said Vandermeer of Darryl. "But I know when he's the boss, he's the boss, you better listen up."


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