Matt Stajan Signing Makes for Smart Trade for Calgary Flames

David KoppContributor IMarch 3, 2010

The Calgary Flames have signed centre Matt Stajan to a reported four-year, $14 million contract.

If that's the case, then his new salary, along with that of winger Nik Hagman, amounts to $6.5m per year—the same salary as Neon Dion Phaneuf's, who was sent to Toronto along with Fredrik Sjostrom and defensive prospect Keith Aulie on Jan. 31.

Darryl Sutter was shelled by some because the plane coming from Pearson held too many free agents.

Now that Stajan is locked up, if Ian White and Jamal Mayers were to walk, this time next year the trade would basically look like Stajan and Hagman for Phaneuf.

Both Leafs landed on Calgary's top line—a testament to the team's shallow offence. The brilliant addition of blue-chip blueliner Jay Bouwmeester, along with the welcome emergence of Mark Giordano, opened the door for Phaneuf to be traded.

Whether Phaneuf becomes a bona fide superstar or not—the main fear of most Flames fans—the trade has become a wise one from a team perspective.

Whether or not the trade is a success will be determined by the wins column and whether or not the Flames see a postseason, but with Stajan's commitment, we can put to bed the idea that the Flames have executed another "Gilmour"-style swap.