SUN Hockey Pool

Jokinen deal a reality

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:30 PM ET

CALGARY — Less than an hour after playing in the Calgary Flames 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Monday night, Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust were bound for Broadway, dealt to the New York Rangers in exchange for Chris Higgins and Ales Kotalik.

The trade first came to light late Sunday night but took more than 24 hours to be finally completed.

Kotalik apparently had to waive a no-trade clause to be dealt to the Flames.

It’s the second swap in as many days for the Flames, who have just one victory in 11 outings and have fallen to ninth in the Western Confernce standings.

On Sunday, Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjostrom and defenceman prospect Keith Aulie were dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs for forwards Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman and Jamal Mayers, as well as defenceman Ian White.

Those four players were in uniform in Monday’s defeat.

Jokinen was acquired by Calgary from the Phoenix Coyotes at the 2009 trade deadline — a deal which curiously included Brandon Prust going to Phoenix — but he couldn’t didn’t become the first-line centre for Jarome Iginla as expected. Jokinen has just 11 goals and 24 assists in 56 games this season.

Prust was re-acquired last summer for Jim Vandermeer. He has one goal and four assists in 43 games this season in Calgary.

Kotalik, 31, joins his fourth team in two seasons. After several years with the Buffalo Sabres, he was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers late last season.

He signed a three-year, US$9-million contract with the Rangers but has struggled to just eight goals and 14 assists in 45 games.

He has been scratched in eight of the Rangers’ last nine games and was sent back to New York from a road trip Sunday and told he would be traded.

Higgins, 26, joined the Rangers last summer in a trade with Montreal, and has mustered just six goals and eight assists in 54 games. He’s due to become an unrestricted free agent.


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