Akim Aliu, pictured above scoring against the San Antonio Rampage, was acquired officially from the Winnipeg Jets in a trade for Heat teammate John Negrin on Monday. Aliu had been with the Heat on loan.
Heat teammates Aliu, Negrin traded for one another
By Dan Kinvig - Abbotsford News
Published: January 30, 2012 10:00 AM
Updated: January 30, 2012 10:21 AM
In a unique transaction, a pair of Abbotsford Heat players were traded for one another on Monday morning.
The Calgary Flames, the Heat's NHL parent club, sent defenceman John Negrin to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for the rights to Akim Aliu.
Aliu been with the Heat on loan since late December, posting four goals and one assist in 13 games. A former second-round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks (56th overall in 2007), the 6'3", 200-pound power forward boasts impressive foot speed and agility for a big man. But he had a falling-out with the Jets during training camp this season, and was at home for the better part of two months before being loaned to Abbotsford.
Heat head coach Troy Ward has spoken highly of how Aliu has handled himself on and off the ice, though, and Monday's trade makes him a more permanent part of the organization.
Negrin, a West Vancouver native, was a third-round pick by the Flames in 2007. He battled a relentless wave of injuries over the previous two seasons, missing a combined 91 during that span, and he found himself buried on the depth chart for much of the 2011-12 campaign.
Negrin (pictured right) began the season with the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies before being recalled to the Heat in mid-November. He registered one assist and a -3 rating in 26 games with Abbotsford this season.
The trade represents a fresh start for Negrin, who will report to the St. John's IceCaps, the Jets' AHL affiliate.