Chris Stewart, waived by the Wild on Sunday, was claimed off waivers by Calgary on Monday.

Stewart had been a healthy scratch frequently during the past two months, but he'll get an opportunity to play with the Flames.

 

 

"They're battling for their lives," Stewart said. "That's the ultimate goal is to be playing meaningful hockey this time of year, so I'm excited to be part of the Flames organization." 

The 30-year-old acknowledged the waiver process was nerve-wracking, and leaving Minnesota is tough since he has friends here and his family bought a house in the area. But Stewart is ready to begin a new chapter.

"I’m confident in my ability to still play this game," Stewart said. "I still think I have a lot of good years left in the tank here. For me to further my career, I thought it made the most sense to just get a chance to move on. ... I needed to play.

"I get the situation they're going in. They got a couple young guys here that they want to bring up. I get it. There's definitely the political side of the game. That's just evoution. That happened when I was coming up, too. It's just time to move on. There's no ill will to this organization. They gave me an opportunity, and I was thankful for it." 

Stewart was traveling to Dallas Monday to meet up with the Flames, who visit the Stars Tuesday. 

"I was really happy," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Quite frankly, we pretty well knew he was going to get picked up. He's too good a person, too good a teammate for nothing to happen to him. Calgary got better with him."

 

Meanwhile, Wild center Eric Staal was named the NHL's First Star for the past week after helping the team to four victories. Staal (pictured) had four goals and three assists as the Wild won three road games (Devils, Islanders, Rangers) and beat the Sharks on Sunday night.

 

Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne was the Second Star and Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf was the Third Star.

"He deserved it," Boudreau said. "He’s quietly, 30 goals, not putting any pressure, but there’s that outside chance that he could get 40 and who would have thunk? That’s pretty darn good, especially he’s had different linemates. I don’t know if he’s had the same linemates three games in a row all year, so it’s good for him.”

Monday at 2 p.m. is the trade deadline ... the big deals started in earnest Monday morning when the Blues, who play the Wild on Tuesday night, sent center Paul Stastny to the Jets for a first rounder, a fourth rounder and Providence College star Erik Foley.

Boudreau wasn't expecting the Wild to be busy before the trade window closed.

"I like what we have and the way we're playing," he said. "Obviously, to get into the playoffs and to go anywhere we have to play better. So right now it's status quo."

The team held an optional practice Monday at Xcel Energy Center, and defenseman Jonas Brodin participated. He's still scheduled to get evalauted Monday, and that should give the Wild clarity on how soon Brodin could return to the lineup.

"He will be playing this week," Boudreau said.

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Brodin back in Wild lineup tonight after missing nine games