With two days to go before the start of the regular season, the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens have pulled the trigger on a minor trade.
The two-for-one deal involves Montreal sending defencemen Rinat Valiev and Matt Taormina to Calgary for 24-year-old blueliner Brett Kulak.
The most accomplished defenceman of the three is Kulak, who has appeared in 101 career NHL games, including 71 last season. The 6-foot-2 defenceman was used sparingly though, playing just 12:59 per game.
In Valiev, the Flames get a 23-year-old Russian defenceman who was a third-round pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014. Valiev played mostly in the AHL last season, scoring 18 points in 45 games. He has 12 career NHL games with Montreal and Toronto.
Taormina, 31, will provide depth in the Flames’ organization. Undersized at 5-foot-10, he’s been a high-scoring defenceman throughout his career – mostly spent in the AHL. Last year Taormina scored 52 points in 63 AHL games.