Flames Re-sign Chris Breen

Kent Wilson
July 17 2013 04:01PM

 

 

As the TJ Brodie negotiations stretch out, Feaster is at least getting other orders of business done. Today the team announced they have inked 24 year old defender Chris Breen to a one-year, two-way contract. 

The deal is worth $577k/$80k per year, depending on where he plays.

Breen is a huge 6'7" defender who was signed as a free agent out of the OHL three years ago. He has established himself as a top-4 option at the AHL level thus far, but has yet to appear in an NHL game. Breen is willing to drop the gloves on occasion, but is the rare big man who doesn't rack up a lot of penalty minutes. To wit, his 55 PIM's for Abbotsford last year were a career high.

Breen has size, strength and a huge reach but also next to no offense and non-trivial deficiencies in terms of skating and puck handling. The former may be enough to overcome the latter and get him into the show as a bottom pairing defenseman. In my personal viewings of Breen he has looked very susceptible to being beaten to the outside by anyone with speed as well as struggling with the puck on his stick, but I haven't watched enough Heat hockey to get a true read on the player either.

No doubt Breen will get a look this year. O'Brien, Cundari and Smith are ahead of him on the depth chart, but it will only take a couple of injuries (or a big step forward by the player) to get him a cup of coffee on the parent club.

If he does make the jump, it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the speed of the NHL game.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Baalzamon
July 17 2013, 04:10PM
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Yeah, Breen's never really impressed me either. On the other hand, he's always moved around rather well for a 6'7" 230lb trolloc.

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#2 Stockley
July 17 2013, 04:14PM
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I'm all for giving him a shot. We know what the bottom end of Calgary's D bring to the table and it's not particularly overwhelming. If Breen can adjust to the pro game at all his size would be welcome; even if he is a bit of a gentle giant. Maybe they can pair him with SOB and see if some of that toughness and aggression can transfer over.

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#3 ChinookArch
July 17 2013, 05:21PM
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Jim Playfiar was a big Breen promoter when he coached the Heat, which to me is meaningful, becuase I consider him a very defensively minded coach. Interesting to hear where the Flames have Breen pegged on the depth chart,

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#4 Tommynotsohuge
July 17 2013, 05:32PM
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How many players do we have signed now? Are we pushing up against the 50 max?

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#5 aloudoun
July 17 2013, 05:38PM
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@Tommynotsohuge

I believe Breen brings us to 40. (according to Cap Geek)

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#7 Tommynotsohuge
July 17 2013, 06:06PM
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Thanks guys. Thats awesome. Monohan, Brodie are next and Goudreau and Agastino in the Spring. Things are looking up.

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#8 Q
July 17 2013, 06:29PM
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This guy ain't NHL material so its a meh from me

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#9 RexLibris
July 17 2013, 08:30PM
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Decent depth AHL signing for a team in the Flames' position.

They don't have the blueline prospects to fill up their farm team yet, and if all Breen does is help buy time for Wotherspoon to adapt to the professional game then it is worth it.

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#10 Burnward
July 17 2013, 08:45PM
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@RexLibris

Any time you want to come out of the closet as a Flames fan, we will accept you.

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#11 Colin
July 17 2013, 08:48PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Decent depth AHL signing for a team in the Flames' position.

They don't have the blueline prospects to fill up their farm team yet, and if all Breen does is help buy time for Wotherspoon to adapt to the professional game then it is worth it.

Pretty much this, still hoping he can figure out as he gets a bit older, but holding out less hope. Still a great option as top 4 in Abby, we got some guys in Wotherspoon, Ramage and such to challenge for spots but until those guys show top 4 potential in Abby its good to keep the team as competitive as possible.

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#12 T&A4Flames
July 17 2013, 10:36PM
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So, who makes up the D core in Abby this year? Assuming no big changes on the big club, Breen likely starts as top pairing but with who? Ramage and Wotherspoon could make a pretty good shut down pairing. Someone with a little offense should probably be with Breener.

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#14 SeanCharles
July 17 2013, 11:57PM
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Considering the direction the team is going I wouldnt be surprised if Breen is above Smith on the depth chart.

Smith looked bad last year and if they are close the Flames said they'll go with youth over vets...

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#15 RexLibris
July 18 2013, 08:11AM
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Burnward wrote:

Any time you want to come out of the closet as a Flames fan, we will accept you.

Sorry, but they could lose 164 straight games or win 3 consecutive cups, it won't change my allegiances.

;-)

I can applaud smart moves when they happen. Breen re-signing isn't a bad move, although I wonder why Feaster didn't try and find some better AHL free-agents for the farm team. He'll need to surround a small blueline prospect group with some depth and leadership. Maybe Breen is that, but there is a troubling penchant within the organization right now to overvalue "truculence" and the ever-popular "gritchart".

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#16 Baalzamon
July 18 2013, 08:45AM
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@RexLibris

" Breen re-signing isn't a bad move, although I wonder why Feaster didn't try and find some better AHL free-agents for the farm team. He'll need to surround a small blueline prospect group with some depth and leadership."

I imagine that's what 5'11" Chad Billins is for.

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#17 RexLibris
July 18 2013, 09:50AM
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@Baalzamon

I'd forgotten about Billins. Seems like a good move. I'll be interested to see what the Heat's blueline looks like this coming year.

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#18 Baalzamon
July 18 2013, 10:07AM
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@RexLibris

Right now, Elite Prospects has six guys listed as Heat candidates. Billins, Breen, MacKenzie, Martin, Ramage, and Wotherspoon. It's likely Cundari lines up in there at least some of the time.

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