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Flames acquire D Staios from rival Oilers

NHL.com @NHL

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -The Edmonton Oilers traded defenseman Steve Staios to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday in a deal between two of the NHL's biggest rivals.

The Flames acquired the 36-year-old defenseman for 26-year-old defenseman Aaron Johnson and a third-round draft pick in either 2010 or 2011 before the NHL trade deadline.

Calgary general manager Darryl Sutter said he made the deal to acquire a veteran defenseman to help the Flames (30-23-9) make a stretch run for a playoff spot.

"Steve's a player that I've liked for a long time obviously and (I've) seen him in that Calgary-Edmonton rivalry lots over the years," Sutter said. "Thankfully we get him."

It marked the first time the adversaries in the Battle of Alberta agreed on a swap.

"I've tried lots," said Sutter, who worked on the deal for a month. "There's not very many of that type of quality veteran leadership type of defensemen in the market. If they were, we felt that they weren't as good as Steve or they were making a lot more money. You're talking about a top guy in terms of leadership, and that's really important to our team."

In 40 games for the Oilers this season, Staios has seven assists and a minus-19 rating. He has one year left on his contract worth $2.2 million and is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2010-11 season.

The Flames also swapped backup goaltenders with the Anaheim Ducks, acquiring Vesa Toskala for Curtis McElhinney. Calgary then traded forward Dustin Boyd to the Nashville Predators for a fourth round draft pick.

Neither Staios nor Toskala arrived in Calgary in time to play Wednesday night against the Minnesota Wild. Matt Keetley was recalled from the AHL's Abbotsford Heat to back up goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

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