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Flames stand pat at the trade deadline

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames

What you see is what you get.

The Calgary Flames listened and talked throughout NHL Trade Deadline on Tuesday but ultimately decided to stick with the roster they have right now for the rest of the season.

"We were probably close to a couple of bad deals," said a wry Calgary general manager Darryl Sutter. "I think everyone likes to analyze trade deadline deals...but we didn't want to disrupt any of our core group. We've got a good club."

The Flames made one trade prior to the deadline, acquiring defenceman Jim Vandermeer from Philadelphia.

And, while there was plenty of talk about unrestricted free agents Daymond Langkow and Kristian Huselius possibly being traded, it turned out to be nothing more than speculation. A day prior to the trade deadline Sutter had declared he was not going to trade Alex Tanguay, the left winger who was most rumoured to be moving to a new city. Sutter noted that UFA's remain the team property until July 1 so there was no real deadline to sign Langkow or Huselius or trade them on Tuesday.

"We were not going to let that affect what we were doing," said Sutter.

Other teams in the Western Conference were busy -- Colorado for one signed Peter Forsberg and then traded for Adam Foote. San Jose nabbed Brian Campbell, a highly sought after defenceman, from Buffalo while Dallas beefed up by getting Brad Richards from Tampa Bay. Despite those moves, Sutter said he didn't feel pressure to have to match what other teams were doing.


Flames 2007-08 Roster

2007-08 Completed Trades

"You are not going to contribute any of your nucleus players to match that," said Sutter. "You have to have a bigger view and a bigger vision of it."

We like our team. We like what we are capable of - Jarome Iginla

Sutter also noted that the Flames are in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference and were not looking to change the dynamics of the team.

"You are not trying to shake it up and you are not going to give away somebody who is going to be with your for a long time," said the general manager. "And I prefer to keep our first round picks."

Sutter said there was potential for what he described as "lateral" moves but again, he was not interested. "I think it is natural for teams to try and steal somebody and get somebody for less than they should. That's what we haven't done and that's why we can continue to be competitive."

Moving forward, Sutter reiterated that he likes the team make-up heading into the stretch drive to the playoffs.

"The division keeps getting tougher But I think we are in a good position," said Sutter.

Flames players are of the same mindset.

"I feel we have great chemistry and a lot of talent and a lot of guys that will work hard and battle for anyone in this room. Personally, I think we are a great team. We haven't peaked yet. We are going in the right direction right now," said defenceman David Hale, acquired on trade deadline day last year.

"We have a very veteran group here. We all know that trades and rumours are part of the game. We've likely all been part of a rumour at one point or the other," said captain Jarome Iginla. "We like our team. We like what we are capable of."


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