By signing Matt Stajan to a four-year, $12.5 million extension last week, the Calgary Flames locked up a key member of their team. One cannot help but think that in so doing the team has missed out on a golden opportunity to move on from the lopsided Dion Phaneuf trade from four years ago.
Four years ago, Matt Stajan wasn’t even the centerpiece of the deal that sent Phaneuf from the Flames to the Toronto Maple Leafs. That was arguably defenseman Ian White. However, now he’s the only remnant of it.
Jamal Mayers signed with the San Jose Sharks at the end of that 2009-10 season and just announced his retirement last month. Current Kontinental Hockey Leaguer Niklas Hagman ended up an Anaheim Duck after being put on waivers by the Flames. And the unemployed White has bounced around more than a pinball, with post-Calgary stops with the Sharks, Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings.
As for Stajan, the fact that he is the only player to remain in Calgary points primarily to his value to this team, like him or not. Here are the pros and cons of his extension with the Flames.