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Stuart, Primeau bring depth to Flames line-up

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

Brad Stuart would like history to repeat itself.

The last time he was traded to a Calgary team he helped lead them to a championship.

That was back in 1999 when he was dealt from the Regina Pats to the Calgary Hitmen who went on to win the Western Hockey League championship.

"Yeah, that seems like forever ago but that was certainly a great time in my career," said Stuart, acquired Saturday by the Calgary Flames with Wayne Primeau from the Boston Bruins for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew.

Stuart, a first round pick of the San Jose Sharks in 1998, is a strong defenceman with some offensive flair who was expecting to be traded from the Bruins and who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

"I can't say I was surprised. I was expecting something to happen. It was pretty much a forgone conclusion that I would be traded. There had been a lot of speculation. I tried to block it out," said Stuart, adding he had heard Calgary was in the mix of teams seeking his services a couple of days prior to the trade.

"It's nice to be going back to Calgary. It gets me closer to my family," said Stuart who was born in Rocky Mountain House.

Primeau a big centre, adds grit to the Flames.

"I will always have an effort out there," said Primeau, when asked what he brings to the Flames. "I finish my checks and take pride in things like face-offs, penalty-kills and chaip in the odd goal."

In Boston this season, Primeau had seven goals and eight assists while averaging 15 minutes of ice time per game. Stuart had seven goal and 10 assists in a Bruins uniform while averaging about 22 minutes a game.

Both players dressed for Sunday's game against Detroit. Stuart was paired with Robyn Regehr while Primeau played on the third line with Matthew Lombardi and Byron Ritchie.

"We feel we made a move that helps us become a better hockey team every day," said head coach Jim Playfair. "We expect them to play a lot of good minutes for us."

While both players can become unrestricted free agents this summer, both said they will put contracts on the back-burner and concentrate on playing hockey.

"That's the plan," said Stuart.



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