Flames believe Stoll traded
- View SourceJune 2, 2002
'Validity' of transaction up in the air
By TODD KIMBERLEY
Two years came down to a frantic 19 minutes for Jarret Stoll on
Now, the 19-year-old centre will have to wait another three weeks to
know his National Hockey League future.
Or will he?
With the Calgary Flames and Stoll's Toronto-based agent Don Meehan at
loggerheads over a contract, the Flames gave several other NHL teams
permission to talk turkey -- and, according to both the Flames and
Meehan, agreed to a trade with one of them for the Yorkton, Sask.,
native, who was chosen 46th overall by Calgary two years ago.
The NHL said no trade took place, but the Flames are disputing the
Meehan's beef? The Flames granted their blessing, he said, just 19
minutes before the league's 3 p.m. MDT deadline, by which time all
NHL teams were to have their 2000 major-junior draftees under
When the smoke cleared, the NHL's official line was that no trade was
consummated, the Flames had no compensation, and Stoll -- who
captained the 2002 Canadian world junior squad to a silver medal and
the Kootenay Ice to a Memorial Cup -- will now re-enter the entry
draft at Toronto on June 22 and 23.
The team, which Meehan declined to identify, "called me to indicate
that Calgary had agreed to a trade for Jarret Stoll, but that they
could only make a deal as long as I had the documentation faxed to
(the NHL's) central registry by 5 o'clock (EDT). This was put over
until 19 minutes to five.
"We did the very best we could to try and finalize things," added
Meehan, who also represents Flames superstar and impending restricted
free agent Jarome Iginla. "But it's pretty difficult to operate
within that kind of a time frame. My first reaction had been: 'We're
not going to have enough time, anyway.'
"My confirmation slip says 5 o'clock. But I don't know that the
transmission finished until shortly after five. So I don't know what
the league's disposition is on the matter. Because it went beyond 5
o'clock, though, I think not."
Flames general manager Craig Button gave a more definitive
answer. "I'm holding a memo in my hand (from NHL's central registry)
that says Jarret Stoll has re-entered the draft," said Button.
But late Saturday night, Flames spokesman Peter Hanlon said: "We
believe we have a trade in place. There's a dispute over the validity
of the trade."
Button had already expressed doubt on Friday that the two sides could
reach an agreement, with Stoll's signing bonus the contentious issue.
"There were different subjective opinions on the player between Don
and ourselves," said Button on Saturday. "We felt really strong and
very comfortable with our offer . . . but there was a significant
difference in our positions. That precluded us from coming to an
"When we determined our offer wasn't going to be considered
acceptable, we granted some other teams the opportunity to try and
reach an agreement. We gave three of them permission to deal with
(Meehan) directly," added Button. "They were not able to do it,
Stoll, a two-time member of the Canadian world junior squad, peaked
statistically during the 2000-01 season when he led the Western
Hockey League's Cranbrook, B.C.-based Ice with 40 goals and 106
While Button said the Flames had every intention of signing Stoll,
the third-year GM also mentioned that a player cast in the same mould
already exists in the organization -- 22-year-old Blair Betts, who
performed ably and scored his first NHL goal as a fourth-line pivot
when he was recalled from Saint John for the final six games of the
"From January 2001, Blair has steadily and continually improved his
game," said Button. "We fully expect Blair to come in in September
and really compete for a spot on our team."