Hockey was overshadowed by the NHL trade moves on Wednesday, which might be a good thing for the Calgary Flames.
The Flames came away with another victory, beating the New Jersey Devils 6-3. It was a loose-checking affair that saw the home side score three straight in the second period to get a lead they could keep. But there was more excitement about what happened off the ice.
With another shrewd move to shore up the forward ranks, Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving made traded for Elias Lindholm’s cousin Calle Jarnkrok.
Giving up second-, third- and seventh-round picks for the 30-year-old Swedish Swiss Army knife an hour or so before puck drop at the Saddledome.
Jarnkrok will join a handful of countrymen. In addition to the family he has in Lindholm, Jarnkrok has a great friend and training partner in goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
He moves from an expansion team enduring a difficult season to a team with legitimate hopes to come out of the Western Conference and is excited to do so with guys he grew up with.
“We’ve said that to each other for the last eight or nine years, to be honest with you,” Jarnkrok said on a Zoom call before the game. “But we never really thought it was going to happen. But it’s really cool that it’s going to happen now.”
Sutter says Flames ‘outscored mistakes’
Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter was pretty happy with the acquisition, too. Jarnkrok has been in playoff races with the Nashville Predators, can play all three positions up front and suits his system perfectly.
“I think he’s a really good all-around player. Versatile guy,” Sutter said. “It’s a player that’s had to play in playoff races, which is important for our club, I think.”
While there was a lot to like about the NHL trade, there wasn’t as much to like about the overall game against the Devils.
Sutter enjoyed seeing low-liners Milan Lucic, Dillon Dube and Brett Ritchie (not a typo) score. But the lack of discipline and poor checking were covered up by the offence. Andrew Mangiapane netted his 30th goal of the season, Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau also scored.
“Outscored our mistakes tonight,” Sutter said.
That’s not his recipe for success. But he’ll take the two points, and the Flames are now 15-1-1 in their last 17 home games.
As enjoyable as the Calgary Flames trade moves have been for his roster, Sutter is looking forward to next week’s deadline to pass.
“It’s good when it’s over,” Sutter said. “I’ve been there as a player, been there as a coach, been there as a general manager, been there as a consultant. It’s good when it’s over. It’s hard. Especially now with all of the networking.”