PHILADELPHIA -- Kyle Calder wants the personal success and
the championship contending team in Detroit he never had in
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
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
"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
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."