Red Wings acquire LW Calder in three-way trade

Feb 27, 2007 - 2:32 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Kyle Calder is hoping his third team is the charm.

Calder has been acquired by the Detroit Red Wings in a three-way trade involving the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks.

After being obtained by the Blackhawks from the Flyers for defenseman Lasse Kukkonen and a third-round pick, Calder was sent to the Red Wings for center Jason Williams.

A fifth-round selection of the Blackhawks in the 1997 draft, Calder scored a career-high 26 goals for Chicago last season before being traded to Philadelphia for Michal Handzus in August. The 28-year-old left wing struggled with the Flyers, however, going the first 28 games of the campaign without a goal and scoring just nine and 21 points in 59 contests.

However, Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren insisted Calder's performance was not the motivating factor for the trade.

"With Kyle's pending unrestricted free agent status coming up, we did make an attempt to sign him, but it didn't look like we were going to get it done before the trade deadline tomorrow," Holmgren said. "We just felt that we couldn't afford to take a chance and get nothing in return for an asset like Kyle. We did what we needed to do."

In 418 career games with Chicago and Philadelphia, Calder has recorded 94 goals and 137 assists.

Kukkonen was a fifth-round pick of the Blackhawks in 2003. The Finn had one assist in 10 games with Chicago in 2003-04 and registered five goals and 14 points in 54 contests this campaign after spending the previous two seasons in his homeland.

"Kukkonen is a player who played a couple of years with (current Flyer) Joni Pitkanen back in Finland a few years ago," Holmgren said. "He moves the puck extremely well and is averaging over 16 minutes a game. He is just a real steady defender. He is a nice addition to our team."

A member of Finland's silver medal-winning team at the 2006 Winter Olympics, the 25-year-old Kukkonen is the third young, promising defenseman acquired by the Flyers in recent weeks. Philadelphia obtained 19-year-old Ryan Parent - the 18th overall pick in 2005 from Nashville in the deal involving Peter Forsberg on February 15 and picked up Braydon Coburn - the 2003 eighth overall selection who turns 22 on Tuesday - from Atlanta for veteran Alexei Zhitnik on Saturday.

Williams, 26, was signed as an undrafted free agent in September 2000 by Detroit, which currently is fourth in the Western Conference with 86 points. A member of the Red Wings' Stanley Cup championship team in 2002, he scored a career-best 21 goals last season and has recorded 11 tallies and 26 points in 58 games this campaign.

"We've been trying to acquire Jason Williams since last summer," Chicago general manager 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."

Williams, who amassed 49 goals and 67 assists in 233 career games with Detroit, expressed no disappointment in going from a sure playoff team to a club that will not make the postseason.

"I'm definitely excited about coming to Chicago," he said. "Anytime you can be a part of an 'Original Six' team, it's special. Chicago is making strides in the right direction. I'm looking forward to coming to Chicago and in being a major factor on the team.

"I'm happy to be going to a team that wants me and I'm looking forward to helping the Blackhawks."






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