Daymond Langkow is going back to the Phoenix Coyotes. The team acquired the veteran center from the Calgary Flames in exchange for the much more affordable Lee Stempniak, and it seems as though it's a cost-cutting more for the team north of the border.
Langkow was injured for much of 2010-11, ultimately coming back just in time for the final few games of the Flames season. For his efforts in returning from a neck injury, he earned a Masterton Trophy nomination, but the lingering questions surrounding his health are still to be answered.
The trade, of course, is contingent on a physical, but that shouldn't be an issue. The real question is just how effective Langkow, now 34, will be in his second go around with the Coyotes. He'll earn $4.5 million against the cap for one more season, and the big question about the success of the deal for Phoenix is his ability to earn that money.
If you ask Calgary fans, that shouldn't be an issue. We'll let Matchsticks & Gasoline explain.
While Langkow spent most of the last season out with a particularly nasty neck injury, his brief return near the end of the season was one of the few bright spots, as he played exceptionally. That a center is being traded is no surprise, given the depth of the organization at that position; that it's Daymond Langkow is a shock.
Langkow, while never a high scorer, is one of the best heavy lifters in the league and most fans were hoping he'd be relied upon to play against the top players from the other teams while allowing Iginla et al to play easy zone starts against pushovers.
Of note is that this deal will remove one of the larger cap hits from the Flames books, though Langkow is one of the few that probably earns his paycheck.
Stempniak replaces the scoring void left by Langkow in Calgary, and that he's a winger helps the Flames with their abundance of centers, but he's not the same two-way stud that Langkow is. At the same time, he earns just $1.9 million against the salary cap, so you get what you pay for. Either way, it's certainly evident that Calgary is losing a big piece of their puzzle here.