Why the Troy Brouwer signing looks bad for the Flames

Ari Yanover
July 01 2016 02:00PM

Despite being up tight against the cap, the Flames made a relatively big splash in the free agent market. They didn't sign one of the most expensive contracts of the day - with some of the dollars and term being tossed around, far from it - but signing Troy Brouwer to a four-year, $18 million deal is definitely notable.

Brouwer is big. He's a right winger. He has veteran experience. These all fit Calgary's needs.

That's about where it ends, though.

Brouwer in St. Louis

Brouwer spent the 2015-16 season in St. Louis after the Washington Capitals traded him for T.J. Oshie.

Season GP G A P ATOI 5v5 CF 5v5 OZS
2015-16 82 18 21 39 16:00 49.56% 26.71

He played middle six minutes and had modest production for them. If the Flames are going to put him on a line with Sean Monahan or Sam Bennett, as is rumoured, then an uptick in ice time and uptick in linemates could see an increase in production.

Speaking of linemates, let's take a look at how Brouwer fared with who he played with in St. Louis. Via Corsica:

troy brouwer blues wowy

Almost all of Brouwer's most common linemates were better away from him. Jay Bouwmeester is the lone exception; Brouwer was marginally better away from him than vice versa. But Brouwer and Bouwmeester still sunk each other, as did Brouwer and Alex Steen.

On his own, Brouwer sunk Paul Stastny, big time. Colton Parayko had to do major work to drag him up, as did Joel Edmundson. He brought Kevin Shattenkirk down, and suffered away from Robby Fabbri.

Considering how Stastny and Fabbri were two of his most common linemates, that's a really bad look for Brouwer. David Backes was his other most common linemate, but they appeared to mesh together well enough (although Backes was better away from him, too).

Via OwnThePuck, we can get a general impression of what kind of fit Brouwer was with the Blues:

brouwer stl otp

His linemates were better away from him. His offence was bottom six caliber. His possession was bottom six caliber. He is not getting paid bottom six money for the next four seasons.

So far, based on just last season, the Brouwer signing isn't looking too good. But he only spent the one season with the Blues; maybe it just wasn't as great a fit.

Brouwer in Washington

Brouwer played four seasons with the Washington Capitals after they traded the 26th overall pick in the 2011 draft for him. He was 26 years old when he started in DC; his last season there was his 29-year-old season. That's going to give us a solid look at him, so let's dive in.

Season GP G A P ATOI 5v5 CF 5v5 OZS
2011-12 82 18 15 33 17:11 48.40% 29.60%
2012-13 47 19 14 33 18:32 47.53% 25.50%
2013-14 82 25 18 43 18:51 47.82% 30.38%
2014-15 82 21 22 43 17:31 50.83% 35.01%

The first thing that jumps out to me: Brouwer got bigger minutes in Washington. Despite that, his point scoring didn't exactly see an increase. That didn't come until he started getting more offensive zone starts.

The second thing that jumps out to me: his corsi numbers have never been particularly great. He has had one year over 50%.

Only once in the past five seasons has Brouwer been a positive corsi rel player: in 2013-14, he was a +0.11% CFrel guy at 5v5. Every single other year, he has been negative relative to his team. (I know this is the Washington section, but his worst CFrel numbers came last season: -3.32%.)

Let's take a look at just how Brouwer fared with his linemates over four seasons with the Capitals:

troy brouwer capitals wowy

It's not much more flattering than his portrait with the Blues. Once again, almost all of his teammates was better away from Brouwer than with him, and this is a four year sample we're looking at. No more excuses.

Brouwer collaborated with Eric Fehr and Mike Green to all boost each other, but Fehr and Green were still better away from Brouwer than Brouwer was away from them.

He brought down John Carlson and Karl Alzner. He also brought down Brooks Laich and Jay Beagle, but was better away from them. He worked relatively well with Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

But the main talk is Brouwer playing on the top lines with the Flames' young, budding stars. Questioning how well that's going to turn out doesn't have to be a hypothetical, because he lived it with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, two of the best forwards in the entire game.

And he brought them both down. Both superstar, high-scoring forwards fared better when Brouwer wasn't on their line.

Let's take an in-depth look at his 2014-15 season:

brouwer wsh otp

This is more flattering than his 2015-16 season. His production is still at bottom six levels, but Brouwer saw a massive boost in his shot suppression. It wasn't that high throughout his tenure in Washington. It did steadily increase as he progressed, though - so it might be something to look forward to in Calgary.

Was this the best use of Calgary's money?

The Flames are up tight against the cap; more so after today. Presumably until Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau sign their extensions, Brouwer is now the highest paid Flames forward with a $4.5 million cap hit for the next four seasons. 

He's a big, veteran right winger. That alone is a fit. It does give him a leg up over, say, Joe Colborne, who signed a two-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche for a $2.5 million annual average value. Colborne was big, and he could play right wing, but he doesn't have quite the veteran expertise Brouwer does, and he was a left shot, compared to Brouwer's right.

Colborne is also five years younger, signed for two years fewer, and at $2 million cheaper per year. Hell, say what you will about when most of Colborne's points came, or the Backlund Bump - his career high is higher than Brouwer's.

brouwer vs colborne

Colborne is significantly better in almost every single stat. The shot generation is on par, but that's about it.

If the Flames were going to spend this money no matter what, they probably would have been better off just giving Colborne what he was asking for.

What this means

Signing Brouwer indicates the Flames want to win now. This isn't a move a team makes when they're still rebuilding; Brouwer's reputation as a player with size who's gone deep into the playoffs multiple times doesn't allow for that.

The only problem is, are the Flames actually going to be a better team with Brouwer? He fills a positional need, but does he fill it particularly well? Not only that, but he's getting older, and he's not going to get any cheaper.

It's easy to say that you have to pay to get players on July 1; in that case, maybe just... don't go out on July 1? It's easy to say Brouwer's deal is maybe a year too long; it was just as easy to say that about Mason Raymond. It's still just as easy to say that about Matt Stajan, Brandon Bollig, Dennis Wideman, Ladislav Smid, Deryk Engelland. These things add up. Just because the Flames only have five players committed to Brouwer's final season doesn't mean they won't add up.

And it's $4.5 million. With Monahan and Gaudreau still to re-sign. With the defence likely needing some bolstering. With three more forwards to bring in to create a full lineup. It isn't just going to be tight; there's going to have to be a trade, at this rate.

My initial impression of this signing was "hm." Now that I've spent a bit more time looking into it, I really, really don't like it.

We'll see what happens when Brouwer hits the ice. But the fact he couldn't make it work with Ovechkin and Backstrom is a massive red flag for me - and at $4.5 million, it's not a good one to have sitting on your cap for the next four seasons.

F0c4c8e806b29606c84e319f03049d40
Ari first fell in love with the Flames during the city-wide madness that was 2004. She enjoys thinking about the Flames, writing about the Flames, (Alexander) Hamilton, and dogs. You can find 140-character versions of her yelling at @thirtyfourseven.
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#1 Derzie
July 01 2016, 02:06PM
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Stats. All that matter. Here we go again.

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#2 cberg
July 01 2016, 02:37PM
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Derzie wrote:

Stats. All that matter. Here we go again.

Yes, disgusting. Not even four hours since the signing and the geniuses at FN lining up to run the guy out of town, while boosting Joe Colborne whom they've spent the last two years tearing down. Pathetic!

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#3 Kevin R
July 01 2016, 03:31PM
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flamesburn89 wrote:

Sounds to me like she's saying Colborne is a better player in her mind (and cheaper) than Brouwer, not necessarily that Colborne is actually a good player.

Someone please explain how a guy that has scored 17-25 goals per year for the last 7 years is a bad player. FFS!! To me that shows someone who consistently will be a 20 goal scorer for your team. & now you interpret her stand as Colborne being better value than Brouwer after there was rarely an article post where she didn't trash him. I've been watching hockey for a lot of years & I think guys that can consistently put the puck in the net 20 times a year is a good friggin asset to acquire for free.

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#4 Stud Puffin
July 01 2016, 02:28PM
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I'm sorry, but I am loving the irony here. The last 2 years we have endured the endless whining, crying, snipes at Colborne, and now the same people who have went out of their way to completely degrade him as a player are howling for him to be signed instead of Brouwer. This is HILARIOUS!.

Yes this was not a great contract. Not entirely happy with it. A couple years too long, and a couple of million too expensive. I do think he will bring the same offensive numbers Colborne had this year and that is what they wanted. Colborne was not a good bet to repeat his offense.

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#5 The Fall
July 01 2016, 04:29PM
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JoCo nets 40 points while shooting at 19%. Brouwer is good for 40 with tougher starts and competition. JoCo has yet to play a full season healthy. Brouwer hasn't missed a game in three years.

8 goals in 20 playoff games ain't too bad either.

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#6 DangleSnipeCelly
July 01 2016, 02:19PM
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Derzie wrote:

Stats. All that matter. Here we go again.

Not pointing fingers at anyone in particular but July 1st is the day to mute the analytics follows in your Twitter feed. I'm on board with advanced stats, I really am but I don't think you can apply them to every spot on your roster. We're trying to build a team here. Math is legit but so is psychology.

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#7 Ricky
July 01 2016, 03:30PM
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Colborne was a big body who almost never played a physical game. The second half of last year after the Flames were eliminated from the playoffs is when he went on a tear. Big deal, what matters is coming through in the clutch. Brouwer has won a Stanley Cup and in my opinion was a very strong player for St. Louis in the playoffs. I consider his game to be similar to Ryan Kesler, he can get under your skin and he is physical. Anaheim totally destroyed us physically last year going after and trying to injure Gaudreau in particular with no response from the Flames. The addition of Brouwer and Chiasson helps significantly in the toughness area. You can't keep allowing the opposition to abuse out star players and I like the direction that Treliving is going in. Bear in mind that his good moves far outweigh the bad ones. If Wideman hadn't pulled off his stupid stunt last year I m positive that Treliving would have been able to trade him at the deadline. Wideman has made it very difficult to move him and his salary unfortunately but if anyone can do the right move with Wideman then I have 100% faith in Treliving. Thank goodness that we don't have a GM who trades Iginla and Boumeester for basically literally nothing and they are both still very productive players in the league. Anyway, that is my opinion on a few things. Go Flames Go!!

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#8 Nick24
July 01 2016, 02:26PM
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Brower may be bad for the Flames, but you know who he'd be great for? Las Vegas!

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#9 Danomitee
July 01 2016, 04:28PM
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I can't even count how many times our goalies were bumped last year with limited resistance from our team. We needed to get tougher, plain and simple. Colborne is soft, his stats were inflated during meaningless games. Johnny and Mony are far from physical players, and lets not forget we play in the most physical division in hockey.

Brouwer provides the physicality, can still pot around 40 points probably for the entire duration of his contract and immense leadership amongst the forward ranks that we are in dire need of. Stajan provides some leadership, but he's not going to help us on the scoreboard. Every big name signing today was for to much money, and all the fans of those teams stress the same concern. This was a reasonable signing, and Ari this article was an emotional response not an educated one. Advanced stats are great, but they can't track everything.

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#10 everton fc
July 01 2016, 03:35PM
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Brouwer is far superior to Colborne. Shinkaruk will be far superior to Colborne, though a different type of player. Colborne played a softer game than the organization needs these days. Signing him at 2.5mill would have been okay w/me. I like Brouwer, and he'll do well here. But we overpaid.

Watch Vanek score 25 goals in the Motor City. And for 2.6mill. Everyone gave Kessel the thumbs down here, last year. He hoisted the Cup. Vanek scores goals. From the right wing.

If we somehow could have had both....

Alas, welcome to Calgary, Troy Brouwer. They loved you in D.C. They loved you in St. Louis. We'll get behind you here.

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#11 JKG
July 01 2016, 03:57PM
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I like the work ethic and character he brings, he's a major upgrade from Colborne, and can help Gio mentor the kids. Having positive peer role models goes a hell of a lot further than people give it credit for.

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#12 everton fc
July 01 2016, 03:39PM
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Are the Flames ever mentioned in the same sentence as Jimmy Vesey?

Brouwer is a better player all day than Colborne, Martin, Weise... He'll do fine here. Albeit at a high cap hit.

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#13 Dan the Drunk
July 01 2016, 04:53PM
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At the press conference Treliving mentioned what these new signing can bring to game time as well as team practices. I think that was important to hear.

Last years team began the season as an overly confident group thinking they'd make the playoffs, but didn't have the same drive to win games at the last minute as two years ago. Last years team almost set the team record for losses in a regular season.

I think the level head that Brouwer will bring during travel nights or off days is greater than that which Colborne could offer; remember the post Superbowl hangover? Maybe management felt a stronger peer presence would help a team with a bunch of young talent (*especially if they're considering throwing in some fresh faces from the draft or farm).

Signing a guy like Brouwer who's played 98 playoff games in his eight season career (five seasons making it to the second round or better) can bring intangibles that won't be marked by possession intel. Maybe he was signed for his size, his handedness, but I think it's also his drive and experience, and it was as strong of a move as Treliving could make at this time.

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#14 Stud Puffin
July 01 2016, 02:30PM
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#97Train/McDavidCopperfield wrote:

Same amount of points and 1.5ml cheaper than Brouwer.Good job Treleving.

And if you think Colborne will repeat his offensive production it is a terrible move. However its not like he traded his top LW'er for a 2nd pairing dman with no offense or anything, so I'd be careful about gloating.

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#15 Truculence
July 01 2016, 03:46PM
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One plus is that despite being burdened with only 26.71 OZS he faced some of the toughest quality of competition and still came out almost even.

Part of the reason his wowy shows him dragging other Blues down in possession when he plays with them might be because they are asked to start more often in the defensive zone with him against high QOC players. In other words, they might be getting higher Ozone starts apart from him.

A little more context is needed, but I think this makes the team better for the next couple of years, since, given his career averages, he can easily match Colborne's unusually high production from last year while getting more d-zone starts if necessary. Plus he is a pretty physical player -an attribute that cannot be discounted in the Pacific.

A little too much term, imo, but not all that bad of a signing that Ari makes it out to be.

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#16 K Theory
July 01 2016, 02:16PM
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Reposting from the other thread:

I'm actually quite happy with this signing. We paid a little more than ideal, due to the day on the calendar, but Brouwer is a still a very solid pickup. I'm sure that without his brutal OZS% deployment, he'd do a lot better on the counting stats.

One of the key stats that I find to be pretty enlightening is to compare how often a player starts vs. finishes in the offensive zone. I.e., how effective they are at pushing the play up the ice. It's a handy compliment to the raw CF% numbers. By that metric, Brouwer was absolutely one of the best on the Blues (behind Backes).

Compare him to FlamesNation darlings Backlund and Frolik. Stats below are all for 5v5 play.

CF% T.Brouwer: 48.9 M.Frolik: 51.44 M.Backlund: 52.33

ZSR -> ZFR (Change%) T.Brouwer: 38.7 -> 45.5 (+6.8%) M.Frolik: 48.0 -> 49.7 (+1.7%) M. Backlund: 49.08 -> 51.02 (+1.9%)

I also think that he'll help out our special teams quite a lot. He scored at a higher rate on the PP than just about anyone on the flames.Take a look at his goal difference (For - Against) on the power play:

PP GF-GA-GD/60 T.Brouwer: 7.2 // -0.8 // 6.4 S.Monahan: 7.1 // -0.4 // 6.7 M.Gio: 7.4 // 0.8 // 6.4

Penalty kill rates will also put him right at the top of the Flames. Take a look at his goal difference (Against-For) on penalty kill:

PK GF-GA-GD/60 T.Brouwer: 0.0 // -4.9 // -4.9 M.Frolik: 2.0 // - 7.7 // - 5.7 M.Backlund: 2.0 // -7.5 // -5.5

All in all, I think that there is a lot more to Brouwer's game that might meet the eye at a first glance. I'm sure that he'll be a solid contributor and will give decent (not great) value for what he's paid.

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#17 TheoForever
July 01 2016, 02:18PM
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#97Train/McDavidCopperfield wrote:

Colbourne is the guy you should have signed 2.5 mil/year. good deal for Colorado. Depth down the middle would have been a strong point vs an unknown. Bennett barely played centre last year.

Terrible move letting Colbourne go. He was one of the few big guys you had.

Colbourne barely played center last year too, watch the team first.

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#18 Flames Fan in Edmonchuck
July 01 2016, 03:11PM
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Relax. Brouwer is fine. He fills a hole. Of course we over paid, we gave nothing to get him. He is something we need, gives the coach options and was probably the second best RW available this off season. BT knows what he is doing.

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#19 FeyWest
July 01 2016, 03:22PM
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I really don't mind eating crow either if Colborne goes on a tear again. It's not about being right or wrong, I just want the team to be better and anytime there is new variables added & subtracted there is potential to being better (or worse). I'd rather hope for the better and be proven wrong, than expect the worst and be proven right.

Colborne was alright and would be fine at 2/2.5, but if there wasn't a fit in either Tre's vision or Colborne's there's no point trying to force a square peg in a round hole.

If Brouwer does well, I'm not going to say he's better than Colborne but will say it was good for the team. If Colborne is better I'll acknowledge he is doing well but won't say he'd have been better for the team because that's all guessing.

Sure the stats point to Brouwer at not being anything more than a 40-point player but you never know what new environments can do. Burn me if you want I'm just hoping for the best for the team.

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#20 The Fall
July 01 2016, 08:41PM
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Fun fact:

The Canucks top line will combine to be over 100 years old next season.

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#21 everton fc
July 01 2016, 02:08PM
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Vanek and Connolly would have cost 3.4mill. I know Vanek's a flake, but Vanek scores more goals. Both would have been nice short-term solutions... Say, two years? Easy to move, with those contracts. Good signing by the Wings and Caps. Sceviour for $950K? Another good signing by the Panthers. Smith-Pelly for 1.3mill. Good on the Devils. But we were lookinh gor someone long-term. "Win now" seems like Burke's call.

BT and Burke have yet to wow this fan, when it comes to free agency. And we lost Colborne for nothing.

Will we sign Nakladal? Jooris?? The Oilers should pounce on Nakladal.

As for Brouwer, welcome to Calgary. Here's hoping your numbers stay steady. Caps fans loved him, by the way. So did Blues fans. Here's hoping we can embrace him, as well.

It's not my money - I'm glad he's here. And the fact he wants to be here, wants to live in our city... I think he'll play well for us. (Colborne's spot w/Backlund and Frolik is Ferland's. If Colborne was suppose to be on the 2nd line, Shinkaruk may have convinced the staff he's a better player to take a chance on.)

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#22 #97Train/McDavidCopperfield
July 01 2016, 02:13PM
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Colbourne is the guy you should have signed 2.5 mil/year. good deal for Colorado. Depth down the middle would have been a strong point vs an unknown. Bennett barely played centre last year.

Terrible move letting Colbourne go. He was one of the few big guys you had.

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#23 Kevwan
July 01 2016, 03:19PM
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Did anyone watch the playoffs? 1 goal off the Blues goal scoring lead and 2 pts from the scoring lead. Easily one of of their best players.

Maybe not the best match for the Flames 1st line but still a pretty good player.

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#24 Jumping Jack Flash
July 01 2016, 05:01PM
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KiLLKiND wrote:

If you noticed the comments section for the past I dunno 6 months, people have been fine with Colborne's play and did want him to remain on the team. That does not mean we wanted him to play on the power play or in the top 6. Just because we were unhappy with his deployment does not mean we were unhappy with his play.

I would have much rather signed Colborne for the same contract as Brouwer. Colborne is younger, on the up swing and has all the locker room attibutes that teams like. If we had to offload one in two years most teams would rather take Colborne as a salvation project compared to a 32 year old never hit 45 points salvation project/ cap dump. This is not saying Colborne should be signed to this contract either, as his contract with the Avelanche would have been perfect for Calgary.

Do you actually believe Brouwer has a better chance to match Colborne's numbers from last year? What made you arrive at that conclusion? Was it the massive amounts of points he got in Washington, the fact that he drags all of his teamates down, or is it simply because Calgary will improve all around next year and doesn't have a higher paid RW than him?

I can't believe people don't see the inherent value in this signing. Brouwer is a beast, who can move up and down the line up and put up some points. To maximize our small players effectiveness you need these types of players.

With Edmonton signing Lucic for their top line Brouwer's signing was even more vital. Lucic would have been a perfect policeman for our young players but not at a term of 7 years. If BT would not have addressed this need, Flames fans would be screaming mad. Losing Colbourn is disappointing but he did not make us play bigger. Absolutely, need to sign Nakladal to solidify the D and hope some rookies steal some jobs.

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#25 Victoria Flames Fan
July 01 2016, 07:05PM
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What I love is how class our organization is - phoning Troy and Chad's (new) wives... showing a lot of enthusiasm... looking after the personal part of thing... that's why I think we are on the way to a winning franchise. I live on the West Coast now and have some friends very closely affiliated with the Canucks organization and I am coming to realize what a different culture we have in Cowtown (my hometown). I am very excited that Troy Brouwer and Chad Johnson are a part of our organization (and Alex Chaisson too).

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#26 Kevin R
July 01 2016, 03:00PM
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Seriously Ari!!! Show me one of your posts last year or even the year before that you came anywhere close to being complimentary about Joe Colborne & I'll show you many that you trashed him. Cmon now! What is this? Yes St Louis & wash fans have good things to say about him. He's the RW bridge we need to get some of these young guys up to the big level like Poirrier & Shinkaruk. He had a pretty solid year last year playing on St Louis 2nd line.

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#27 FeyWest
July 01 2016, 03:46PM
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@Kevin R

If you put in 1 goal in a 4-2 loss (20 times) doesn't mean you're a good player. Unfortunately there's no way to weight a goal because it would be time consuming and purely based on opinion.

If you are consistently putting up huge numbers in the latter half of a season that you are officially going to miss the playoffs, it can be seen as consistently underwhelming.

There are many interpretations of how the stats project a player to be if you go back and see the context in how each of these stats are tallied up. That's why I take stats with a grain of salt because context plays a huuuuge factor in their analysis.

All I remember is more often than not Colborne's gotten lucky during times of no pressure, and play died on his stick more often than he's driven play. I've never hated on Colborne because he was useful with us just knew there could always be upgrades on him.

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#28 brodiegio4life
July 01 2016, 05:51PM
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I really don't agree in saying that signing Brouwer means they want to win now... no they want to fill a major need in their lineup right now and be competitive right now... you make it seem like treliving has givin up on the rebuild by signing Brouwer calm down

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#29 RealMcHockeyReturns
July 01 2016, 05:37PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Boedker signs in SJ for four years at four per. Ouch.

Overrated and soft, needs high Offensive Zone Starts to succeed.

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#30 Stud Puffin
July 01 2016, 02:53PM
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#97Train/McDavidCopperfield wrote:

That was a team move for Edmonton.They got New Jersey's best dman and were able to sign the epitome of the NHL power forward. So id say thats a good move. Two for one.

See that's where you are wrong. He was their 3rd best dman behind Greene and Severson. AND you still don't have a pp dman. Brilliant gm'ing there!

Lucic buyout proof for 7 years, good deal for first 3 to 4 years. last 3 years you will regret it big time.

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#31 Baalzamon
July 01 2016, 02:56PM
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#97Train/McDavidCopperfield wrote:

Kris Russell back with the Flames. How you gonna explain all the bad mouthing you did after he was traded last year?

False report. Check your sources.

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#32 FeyWest
July 01 2016, 03:25PM
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Also as an aside, in regards to possession if a player is strong on the boards, battles for a puck and is able to help the team "Possess" the puck even though he may not be the one to come out with it. Wouldn't that mean he would be a stronger possession driver even though it doesn't show up in the possession stats?

I've not seen Brouwer play much aside from the few times he's faced the flames (burning them on more than one occassion). But by the sounds of it he's strong on the boards and creates space on the ice.

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#33 cberg
July 01 2016, 02:52PM
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#97Train/McDavidCopperfield wrote:

That was a team move for Edmonton.They got New Jersey's best dman and were able to sign the epitome of the NHL power forward. So id say thats a good move. Two for one.

You can rationalize that disaster of a trade if you must, but they could still have signed Lucic and dumped Pouliot or someone else, the two were not related. But that's besides the point, this is about the Flames, and today is a good day.

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#34 cberg
July 01 2016, 03:35PM
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Nick24 wrote:

How would you prefer Brouwer be evaluated?

Stats are only a small part of what a player contributes to a team, so ideally you would look at all aspects. Practically lots of things matter beyond stats, but are not measurable by standard stats so that isn't easy to uncover. As a stats site it would be nice, and expected that the writers be able, and willing to dig a bit deeper than a few summary stats line charts (e.g. Comment #5) but alas that rarely happens. The superficial (should I say lazy?) analyses is what is frustrating, but we have come to expect that. Hopefully over the next few years that will greatly improve so we get a more balanced perspective.

Now, Trash away, nothing else is expected.

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#35 smatic10
July 01 2016, 11:36PM
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I'm really glad a lot of people can see the positives in the Bowzer signing, of which there are several. Tree addressed a major need with this. A RWer with size, decent skating, physicality, leadership skills, and a little scoring touch? Yea, that's what we got. They don't grow on trees, and other then Brouwer, there were none available. Is it an overpay? Yes. But not by much. Also, there were a few ridiculous contracts handed out today, I don't think this one falls under that category.

Also can someone explain to me why everyone has a sudden Colborne obsession? Have you guys not seen him the last three years? Yes he had a decent season but most of those points were generated in the second half. He isn't the greatest skater and he's no defensive specialist. He isn't even a phenomenal face-off taker and he's not physical enough. You can clearly tell he isn't about to develop into some game breaking forward. He was a great locker room guy and great with the fans. But signing him to a Brouwer contract would have been HORRENDOUS. I give Tree credit for realizing we needed an improvement in this area and he was ultimately fine with Colborne being a casualty because of it.

So all haters of this signing, get over it. We are CLEARLY a better team now than we were before July 1st.

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#36 WildfireOne
July 01 2016, 02:49PM
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cberg wrote:

Yes, disgusting. Not even four hours since the signing and the geniuses at FN lining up to run the guy out of town, while boosting Joe Colborne whom they've spent the last two years tearing down. Pathetic!

I don't think it's a matter of boosting Big and Local. It's more like, "EVEN Joe Colborne, who we already don't like, was better than Brouwer..." So it's more of an indictment of Brouwer than a boost to Joe.

If this overpayment means we don't sign Nakladal, I really don't like it.

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#37 RealMcHockeyReturns
July 01 2016, 05:36PM
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FeyWest wrote:

Also as an aside, in regards to possession if a player is strong on the boards, battles for a puck and is able to help the team "Possess" the puck even though he may not be the one to come out with it. Wouldn't that mean he would be a stronger possession driver even though it doesn't show up in the possession stats?

I've not seen Brouwer play much aside from the few times he's faced the flames (burning them on more than one occassion). But by the sounds of it he's strong on the boards and creates space on the ice.

Good points here....I believe Brouwer's size and aggressiveness is above Colborne who is big but fairly soft.

Basically Flames felt they needed some protection and board play from a RW playing with Johnny and Mony. Treliving did not see Joe in that role and I concur for sure.

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#38 TheoForever
July 01 2016, 02:24PM
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#97Train/McDavidCopperfield wrote:

He played a lot on the wing but is an nhl centre.Bennett is still an unknown down the middle.

he could also be listed as a goalie..... since, with Flames he was a winger, couldn't cut it as center, and before that he was AHL center, so not an NHL center...

Flames, should have kept him regardless, or traded him to get some value back....

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#39 Matty Franchise Jr
July 01 2016, 02:30PM
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Seems like an overpay for Brouwer, and I'm not terribly optimistic that he'll actually be the 3rd best forward on the team, while being paid that way. I guess we'll see what the new season brings.

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#40 Kevin R
July 01 2016, 03:02PM
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Nick24 wrote:

How would you prefer Brouwer be evaluated?

How about stats in a Flames Jersey.

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#41 FireScorpion
July 01 2016, 03:12PM
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So you cut down Colborne all year and the minute he's gone you say we should have kept him? Don't even start

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#42 Kevin R
July 01 2016, 03:40PM
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Nick24 wrote:

As in the stats for events that haven't happened yet? Why would his numbers be so drastically different in Calgary compared to St. Louis or Washington?

But either way, we're still talking about stats.

I think maybe my position is more that conclusions about the player, the decision to sign him & the decision to walk away from Colborne are presumptuous & inconsistent. A guy that you can chalk in 20 goals per year & has consistently performed that the last 7 years is a bonafide 2nd line winger. Colborne is not a bonafide 2nd line forward. You can analyze all these numbers till the cows come home but I'll reserve my opinion when I see him play in a Flames uniform. To me we just acquired a 20 goal scoring RW & did not have to give up any assets. That's my opinion & there is a reason they play the games.

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#43 Waldo
July 01 2016, 06:49PM
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If you are going to go "in depth" on brouwer, I think you should atleast discuss how the player is being used....

Why does he have a 49.5% Corsi? Because he started in his D zone more than most of his teammates, actually only 3 flames players have more D zone starts than Brouwer did last year and he still managed decent production.

Brouwer was used in a shut down role playing against the opponents best competition, starting in is own zone and still managed a 50% corsi, thats actually fairly impressive if you ask me.

Here is where you can take a real in depth look at the usage of Brouwer:

http://www.hockeyabstract.com/playerusagecharts

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#44 freethe flames
July 01 2016, 07:41PM
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Styxx wrote:

Apparently Tre is moving to a "win now" philosophy rather than patiently developing our talent.

We have seven(!!) 1st & 2nd rounders plus other worthy prospects, all of whom are Draft +2,3,4 years who have no NHL playing experience.

Instead of developing the kids we just gave their time to grandpa.

Where does development happen? Much of it happens in the AHL. Which of our forward prospects has shown they are ready for the show? Shinkaruk is the closest and we traded to get him. I am still hopeful that Poirier has a bounce back year but I'm not ready to pencil him on the NHL squad. The guys that are taking time away from the prospects are Stajan and Bollig.

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#45 The Last Big Bear
July 01 2016, 02:32PM
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Not happy with this contract.

Too much money and too much term for a middle-of-the-roster guy.

The above stats aren't really sufficient to evaluate a player like Brouwer, particularly as he's likely to have unique deployment in terms of zone starts, special teams, etc.

But I'm not really happy with how the Flames have fared in UFA today, especially in light of contracts given to guys like Staal, Colborne, and Perron.

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#46 Ken V.
July 01 2016, 02:37PM
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Bottom line for me is that there were better products available at lower costs. This is a business correct? This was a mistake by Tre. We can accept it, its done. Doesn't mean we have to try and put lipstick on it to wrap our heads around it or make it look pretty. Its bad, no we move on.

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#47 McRib
July 01 2016, 03:09PM
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Outside of last year hasn't Joe Colborne been awful possessionaly and at least from the eye test he played in an insanily favourable situation last season (i.e. He will never get that kind of opportunity again). I mean he had 15-20+ Games on the first line. If anything Frolik, Backlund should now get more offensive minutes with him gone. Anyway I have always been under the impression that throughout his career Joe Colborne has essentially been dominated even strength outside of last year. Maybe I am wrong...

It just seems like the advanced stat community during the course of one year has gone from absolutely hating this player to wanting this player desperately.... I have really started to appreciate Advanced Stats, but I do have a problem with using selective figures to make an isolated argument look better or worse. If we are willing to admit teams (like 2014-2015 Flames) can have statistical anomaly seasons.

Don't get me wrong I wouldn't have minded signing Colborne to $2.5 Million x 2 Years and don't really disagree with this article at all. Just find it funny we are now praising Colborne statistically and find it strange on an individual basis how short term of a memory most Advanced Stats folks have, when they also acknowledge that teams can go on unsustainable runs. These "hero charts" have really become the trend of the day, but I have to say I would love to see a more long term data set of three seasons for these charts. I understand Colborne is "fairly young", but I would put a lot of money on the fact that this was an isolated occurrence (more than willing to eat crow if he hits 40+ points again next year, but I am not buying it). One thing I won't miss about Colborne is regularly watching a 6'5" forward play like he is 5'9".

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#48 Theo4HoF
July 01 2016, 03:18PM
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I think Brouwers last year could be a struggle but you gotta pay a little extra to get a player for nothing.

The flames are one of the smaller teams in the league and have basically no right handed shots. So Brouwer fits some of those needs. Also good heart and soul guy to teach the young guys.

No issue with the signing, 3-4 mil would of been more on par but you can't get something for nothing.

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#49 Baalzamon
July 01 2016, 06:22PM
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RealMcHockeyReturns wrote:

Overrated and soft, needs high Offensive Zone Starts to succeed.

Agreed. Horrible contract.

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#50 Truculence
July 01 2016, 07:53PM
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@mattyc

Brouwer's contract is up before he hits 35. His skating isn't an issue like some power forwards (Lucic), so he is probably a good bet to be still producing at age 34. The question is, will his salary and roster spot prohibit the Flames from advancing a better option on RW a few years from now? Who knows. We'll cross that bridge if we ever get there.

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