"The Calgary Flames told me they were going to be cautious when they traded me," [Joe] Nieuwendyk says. "I didn't think it would be three months' worth of cautious."
NHL teams seems to be caught up in an epidemic of patience these days, with high-priced players such as Nieuwendyk, Edmonton Oilers' Curtis Joseph and New York Islanders' Kirk Muller idled for much longer than anyone had expected. The trade market isn't what it used to be for higher-priced players.
The Nieuwendyk acquisition was a bold move for the Stars, and one they probably wouldn't have made if the team weren't in the midst of acquiring new ownership with deeper pockets. They gave Nieuwendyk an $11.3 million, five-year contract.
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