Flames’ Sutter stays quiet on first day of draft
LOS ANGELES — Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter remained quiet Friday through the first round of the NHL entry draft, which dragged on for four hours.
The Flames were without a first-round pick, but Sutter, the king of draft-day wheeling and dealing, didn’t venture anywhere near the transaction wire, although he explored the possibility of moving into the first round.
“I think everyone tries to do that,” Sutter said. “I think in the first round of 30 players, there’s the lottery and there’s another 60 or 70 guys who fall into the same group.”
“We’re going to get some of those guys . . . probably. To move up, you had to give up too much.”
The Flames lost their first-round pick (13th overall) to Phoenix last year in the ill-fated trade for Olli Jokinen. The Coyotes proceeded to select defenceman Brandon Gormley of the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats.
Central Scouting director E.J. McGuire compared Gormley to Nashville Predators standout Shea Weber, so Flames fans can only hope McGuire is way wrong on this one.
The Flames also dealt their second pick (43rd overall) to Chicago in exchange for Rene Bourque.
Those deals leave Calgary sitting Saturday with two third-round picks (64th and 73rd overall), two fourth-round picks (103rd and 108th overall) and a single pick in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.
“It’s not a draft of stars,” Sutter said. “It’s a deep draft. You’re not giving up somebody off your roster for a low pick in the first round — that’s for sure. With seven picks (Saturday), we’re not going to give picks away.”
The Southern California rumour mill heated up throughout the day Friday, with the Flames mentioned as potential suitors for the likes of Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza, Boston centre Marc Savard and Washington sniper Alexander Semin.
On Thursday, Sutter said he expected to stay out of the limelight this weekend and focus on re-signing his free agents (like Ian White and Christopher Higgins.)
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