Everything Is Awesome: T.J. Brodie Signs Extension

Kent Wilson
October 20 2014 01:37PM

As originally reported by Sportsnet's scoops guru Elliotte Friedman yesterday, the Calgary Flames have officially signed defenseman T.J. Brodie to a five-year contract extension. The deal kicks off next season and runs through the conclusion of the 2019-20 season. The team didn't release money terms, officially. But Friedman reported the average annual value of the deal to be about $4.65 million per year. Although Brodie still had another 8 months before becoming a restricted free agent, his new long-term contract has been a long time coming.

FlamesNation readers will know we've been an advocate of sewing up Brodie long-term since the club signed his bridge deal about 16 months ago. At the time, re-signing Brodie to anything over two years was generally considered folly, but his incredibly strong underlying numbers suggested it was a good bet. 

The intervening season (plus seven games) seems to have erased all the decision makers doubts. Brodie rose to prominence alongside Mark Giordano in the Flames first pairing last year and effectively cemented himself as one of the best young defenders in the game. 

In discussing his potential new contract this past summer we hit on the $4.5M/year area as probable for Brodie given his nearest comparables, so the number isn't unexpected. Nevertheless, If Brodie simply runs in place and stops developing today, the deal is a good one for the Flames. If he gets any better at all, he'll be one of the best value contracts around (this despite the fact Calgary probably could have had him for a million dollars cheaper per year had Jay Feaster taken the plunge previously rather than opting for the bridge contract).

No doubt, Brodie's hot start to the season was part of the impetus to getting the player under contract sooner rather than later. Beyond further assuaging doubts about his ability, Treliving and company are no doubt aware that Brodie's price could have jumped significantly in the off-season if he managed a 40-50 point season. 

High-fives all around. Next up? Mikael Backlund! (Hopefully.)

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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 Burnward
October 20 2014, 01:39PM
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Oh happy day! Ohhh haaappppyyy day!

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#2 BitGeek
October 20 2014, 01:45PM
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It's interesting that some people on the Twitter attribute TJ's success to the departure of JBo when he was traded. The theory goes that with JBo's departure, Brodie was given more ice time and a better pairing and that helped him to succeed. Some part of that implies that Brodie wouldn't be as good as he is now if JBo hadn't left.

I'm sure more ice time didn't hurt, but I think as Kent has been saying for years, Brodie's underlying numbers have always been good. I think his talent just became more obvious to those around him once JBo wasn't the focus anymore.

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#4 Burnward
October 20 2014, 01:51PM
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That being said...how good would a Russell-Jay Bo second pair be right now?

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#5 Baalzamon
October 20 2014, 01:55PM
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How nice is it for a new GM to actually pass one of the tests you identified for him, Kent?

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#6 hamburgler
October 20 2014, 01:56PM
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Honestly, I am truly excited about this teams potential. If they can add a piece or two on D, that aren't named Engelland or Wideman, I think we have a shot at competing in a few years.

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#7 Pizzaman
October 20 2014, 01:58PM
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Change TJs last name to "Norris" because that's where he's headed. (Unfortunately Giordano would have to change to "Rodney Dangerfield"). In his very first training camp Brodie showed huge potential, goes to show that proper experience,partners and coaching make a difference. (Go Bob go!)

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#8 backburner
October 20 2014, 02:00PM
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Great timing on this extension, glad they did it now. I think if they extend Backlund now they could get a great deal..

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#9 beloch
October 20 2014, 02:02PM
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This is a great contract. For whatever reason, big money seems to favour offensive production over fancy stats indicative of solid defensive play (e.g. Wideman). If Brodie were to start racking up points at an increased pace (He's currently producing 1 ppg!), he'd have been way more expensive to re-sign at the end of the season.

A couple years ago, I was one of those not in favour of Feaster signing Brodie to a huge extension. That opinion hasn't changed either. As a fan of both Alberta teams, I've seen too many players signed to contracts that GM's seemed to wish the players would one day deserve instead of contracts they had actually earned. This kind of gambling occasionally pays off when a player makes less than he's worth, but it's more typical for things to be the other way around (e.g. Wideman, Engelland, etc.). Even when it does work out in the team's favour, is it really a good thing when a team's highest paid players are nowhere nearly as good as some of the lowest paid players? Rewarding achievement fairly is in the best interests of any organization. As an added bonus, bridge contracts keep players motivated to improve during key development years. Would Brodie have turned out the same if he'd been signed to a big contract before last season?

Could Brodie have made more if he'd waited to become a UFA this summer? Almost certainly. However, money isn't everything. It's a good sign that Treliving was able to entice Brodie to sign a reasonable contract now. It means Brodie is happy in Calgary and the team's "locker room" is in good shape (I'd be shocked if a similar contract was inked somewhere North on the QEII right now.). I don't know if Brodie has a NTC, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. This contract practically screams that he values staying in Calgary long-term very highly. Even if people around here don't like NTC's, it's still a very good sign that they're worth something to the Flames' players.

So, will Brodie rest on his laurels now that he's got a big paycheck coming and long-term job security? Only time will tell. Here's hoping he deserves a much fatter retirement contract when he's 29!

So who is next to be extended? Backlund is the obvious choice. Like Brodie, he's a pending UFA who has more than proven himself worthy of a long-term contract. Hopefully Treliving is already talking to Backlund's agent. Next on the list are probably Bouma and Byron. For these two, long-term is probably not yet warranted, but I'd definitely get them signed to bridge contracts sooner rather than later. Talking about extensions now shows that the team values them, and will make the process go far smoother than it will in June!

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#10 Hank williams
October 20 2014, 02:09PM
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Brodie's deal does look to be good value, but if im Calgary i would have been reluctant to pay more this early in the negotiation. I mean he is only worth so much and if it took until the last moment in the off season to realize that you had to pay full market value, since he is a RFA, you do it. However lets not completely rule out the possibility of career ending injury that Brodie could suffer before he could cash in. Too much risk for Mr Brodie to accept and most likely too much for his agent too. Smart business for all parties involved!!

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#11 Burnward
October 20 2014, 02:12PM
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Every time I hear Treliving, he instills confidence. Hope that's the case!

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#12 beloch
October 20 2014, 02:21PM
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Another guy I'd like to see signed to an extension is Hartley. This team has no business being so entertaining and competitive with the lowest payroll in the league and a total absence of fully developed lottery picks.

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#13 Lordmork
October 20 2014, 02:22PM
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Really pleased by this signing.

That said, should we read anything into the length of this contract? By 2020, all of the Flames current young players and prospects will be in or approaching their peak and the team will also be rid of all the current boat anchor contracts. Is, say, 2017-2019 a reasonable window to expect/hope that the team will be competing for the cup in?

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#14 kittensandcookies
October 20 2014, 02:22PM
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Burnward wrote:

That being said...how good would a Russell-Jay Bo second pair be right now?

Did you hear Hartley's comments about JBo? He would've loved to have him.

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#15 Taylor McKee
October 20 2014, 02:23PM
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HELL YES GREAT NUMBER VERY HAPPY

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#16 Burnward
October 20 2014, 02:42PM
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On a different note, anyone else think it started to look like Wideman was finding his groove near the end of the road trip?

I wonder if he's a guy that just needs a few games to get going.

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#17 Loxeus
October 20 2014, 02:45PM
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@Hank williams

He played like he was worth 5 last year, and has started this year like he's 6 or 7. 4.65 is an absolutely beautiful figure and is almost certainly on the low end of all contracts signed in this or any universe by a T.J. Brodie.

If we agree that he would have been making something closer to 4 if we skipped the bridge deal and went straight to long term, the additional 0.65 M per year is an extremely low risk premium (it's less than the maximum for a single ELC). Well worth it for any player with an upside comparable to Brodie's.

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#19 Pizzaman
October 20 2014, 02:48PM
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Burnward wrote:

On a different note, anyone else think it started to look like Wideman was finding his groove near the end of the road trip?

I wonder if he's a guy that just needs a few games to get going.

Or he has had a Bob Artley wake up call!

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#20 Gaudfather
October 20 2014, 02:48PM
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Gio, Brodie and Russell are now the foundation of the Flames defensive core. This year through either trade or FA we need one more top 4 d-man and then let the farm system fill in the rest. Wideman and Smid become trade chips.

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#22 ultrathinzigzags
October 20 2014, 03:11PM
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Amuses me that the stats boys are pumping their chests as if they got this deal done. As if no one else could have seen the star bridge was turning into.

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#23 Travel-dude
October 20 2014, 03:13PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I thought Wideman was bad outside of his two points in Winnipeg. That's better than terrible I guess. Part of me doubts he's actually this bad, but man it's been a loooonnng stretch of mediocre or worse play from him. Here's hoping.

Do you think we could use Wideman in a deal for Larsson? I think Wideman would be best back in the East. NJD need a better defensive core, and he is locked up for a few more years. Could also take on some of his (crazy) salary.

If th deal involved Sven as well, all bets are off.

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#24 Hank williams
October 20 2014, 04:16PM
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Ya i agree hat its an underpay. Thing is even at 4.65 million the kid is going to make more than Bobby Orr did in his whole career. The bottom line is the kid hasnt made peanuts by NHL standards yet and he and hsi agent are not wrong in cashing in on the pro sports lottery. Anyone who cant see that has more money than me to risk. The kid made a good move. You never know whats around the corner. Career ending injury, economy issues as in recession,ebola. 23 plus million guaranteed is more than probbably all of us together on this chat room will make cumulative over the next 20 years. Thats some cowboy math for you to put it in perspective. Other than that i agree. Flames got a deal. I think TJ Brodie is all right with it

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#25 RedMan
October 20 2014, 05:52PM
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I think it reasonable to conclude that the Flames are having some success as an organization developing players to a very high level.

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#26 Kevin R
October 20 2014, 07:14PM
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Hate to be an I told you so, but how many hated the bridge contract saying we are going to have to way overpay. I would say this was text book for both management & player. Management bridged him a decent pay cheque while he continued to prove he was going to be part of the future core & with that distinction a decent longterm contract. Flames over the last 2 years & the 5 years to come is an excellent deal for a top 2 defence man coming into his prime. I think Kent, the decision seemed pretty easy for the GM because of the bridge contract. If he was given a 7 year 28 million deal 2 years ago, that would have been viewed as a high risk signing. JMO

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#27 RKD
October 21 2014, 12:05PM
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Brodie is a stud, him and Gio are one of the top pairings in the league. He's one of the scoring leaders on this Flames squad. This is a really good deal, the Flames get some flexibility down the road. It's nice to see young players committing to the rebuilding plan in Calgary. This guy is better than Muzzin, Gardiner, Reilly, Franson, Ellis and Hamonic, believe that playa!

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#28 Loxeus
October 21 2014, 03:03PM
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@Hank williams

To the untrained eye your logic is sound. But to be more accurate, if you take Bobby Orr's $1,000,000 contract back from 1970 and adjust for time, he would be making closer to $5,444,335 (USD) if he were playing today.

Brodie still has a ways to go ;]

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#29 Loxeus
October 21 2014, 03:21PM
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@Kevin R

What you said illustrates my point perfectly. Hindsight being 20/20 and all that... I would personally rather lever the extra $0.65 each year over 5 years to give us the option of backing out (back then), rather than just taking a gamble (which it would have been a gamble back then, no matter how much anyone wants to disagree, and is also the reason why mgmt sprung for the bridge in the first place) and inking a relatively unproven player to a $4M deal for 5+ years. Isn't that how toxic contracts are born?

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