January 18 2013 01:47PM
Word is former Flame Steve Begin will be donning the Flaming C again. In camp on a pro try-out, the Flames have apparently signed the 34-year old grinder. Terms of the deal have not been released, but bet on a one-year, near league minimum contract.
Begin hasn't played in the league since 2010-11, where he appeared in just two games for Nashville. The last time he spent a legitimate amount of time in an NHL line-up was 2009-10 with the Boston Bruins (77 games). That year he started the most often of any Bruin in the defensive zone, but also finished with the worst possession rate on the club as well (he was one of only two Bruins to be in the red in terms of corsi that year).
Keep in mind, that was Begin three years ago. It's hard to say how the current version will hold up against NHL competition these days.
No doubt Begin has been brought on to grind it out and mix things up, which was his calling card back when he was in the league. He's not big (6', 200 pounds) so he'll be asked to fill the agitator role rather than that of a pugilist the nights he is in the line-up.
The Flames brass has been vocal about the roster's need for more sandpaper and toughness, so I guess this is the solution. Frankly I wouldn't have bothered myself - a player like Ben Street seems to have far more overall utility - but it wouldn't be the NHL if your favorite team wasn't signing at least one apparently superfluous checker or tough guy every year...
Calgary has to make a few more decisions on players very shortly, so we will update you when those are announced.