Blackhawks get Williams, Wings land Calder / Associated Press Posted: 11 hours ago
Kyle Calder wants the personal success and the championship contending team in Detroit he never had in Philadelphia.
A big disappointment in his first season with the Flyers, Calder ended up in Detroit as part of a three-team deal on Monday night that saw Philadelphia acquire defenseman Lasse Kukkonen from Chicago. The Flyers sent Calder to Chicago for a 2007 third-round draft pick and Kukkonen. The Blackhawks then sent Calder to Detroit for forward Jason Williams.
"I'm just going to go there and work hard, be gritty and play my style," Calder said.
It was a style that never quite fit in Philadelphia. He scored only nine goals and had 21 points in 59 games after having a career year in Chicago last season. Calder had 26 goals and 33 assists in 79 regular-season games for the Blackhawks last season, leading the team in goals, assists, points and game-winning goals.
"It definitely hasn't been the best year ever," Calder said. "You've got to look at the bigger picture, I guess. They're a good team. I think it's a great opportunity for me."
The Red Wings are only two points behind Nashville for the Central Division lead while the Flyers are mired in last place with the fewest points in the NHL. The Predators acquired another Flyer, former MVP Peter Forsberg, in a trade earlier this month.
Calder, who said he was surprised by the trade on the eve of the league's trade deadline, said he wished he played better in Philadelphia.
"I'm not really sure why I didn't," he said. "I can't really answer that. Any time you're losing, it's not a good thing for everyone."
Calder will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said his first choice was to re-sign the 28-year-old. When a new deal couldn't be reached, Holmgren knew he had to make a trade.
"We just felt that we couldn't afford to take a chance and get nothing in return for an asset like Kyle," Holmgren said. "We did what we needed to do."
Kukkonen has five goals and 14 points in 54 games for the Blackhawks this season. He was second on the team in blocked shots with 98. Over parts of two seasons with Chicago, Kukkonen has five goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 64 regular-season games.
Williams had 11 goals and 15 assists in 58 games with the Red Wings this season. For his career, he has 49 goals and 67 assists in 233 games.
"We've been trying to acquire Jason Williams since last summer," Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon said. "He is a quality individual who can add to our team offensively and can also play the point on the power play. We feel with his speed and skill he is another piece of the puzzle as we continue to move forward in making our team better."
Calder's play has improved of late, and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he brings the forechecking and grit his team needs.
"He's had a tough season, but he's a proven NHL player," Babcock said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday night after the team landed in Chicago for a game against the Blackhawks on Tuesday. "He works, works and works and he'll make us a harder team to play against."