Brodie Sent Down

Vancouver Canucks' Shawn Weller (R) knocks down Calgary Flames TJ Brodie during the first period of their NHL pre-season hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia September 21,2010.     REUTERS/Andy Clark   (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)


Lots of reports on twitter right now saying TJ Brodie has been sent down to Abbotsford. It’s the right move from a number of angles, not least of which is the fact that sitting in the pressbox doesn’t make sense for a 20 year-old defender just starting out his career. If the club has decided that the vets are the better bet going forward, then it makes sense for the kid to see ice time at the AHL level. It certainly isn’t going to hurt him to be a big wheel in Abbotsford.

That said, has the team made the right decision on the ice? Meaning: is the current line-up the best available? We’ve seen a couple of games from Steve Staios and TJ Brodie which is, of course, probably not enough to really be making these decisions. That said, the results almost all universally flow in favor of the kid.

In three contests, Brodie mostly faced third and fourth lines and was on the positive side of the ledger in terms of possession (+8.05/60). Staios has probably faced a slightly better quality of competition by virtue of skating beside Bouwmeester (albeit against the Edmonton Oilers, so maybe not) and yet he’s at the other end of the spectrum: -10.18/60. The only skater with a worse corsi rate thus far is Stefan Meyer.

To be fair to Steady Steve, he’s mostly started out in his own end thus far, with a zone start ratio of 45.5%. That said, Brodie wasn’t being coddled either. His zone start was 47.1%…so it’s not like circumstances alone explain the near 20 corsi/hour gulf between the two.

There’s no question that Brodie began to struggle somewhat in terms of making NHL-caliber reads once the bullets started flying. However, his ability to move the puck forward and skate it out of trouble persisted. Staios, on the other hand, is everything I remember: not overly fast nor smart, struggling to keep up with certain aspects of the play. Even more galling, Sutter has gone back to playing him on the man advantage…a decision so baffling that Oilers fans were laughing incredulously when they saw it on Saturday.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that the move is permanent. If Staios continues to stink and Brodie continues to impress in the minors, there’s every possibility the kid will re-emerge when another injury hits or (god permitting) Staios is finally traded away or demoted.

  • Don’t think it was the right move. Brodie looked good out there while Staois continues to look bad. I think even if Brodie were to sit out against top teams & have Pardy play, he would still get better experience being with the big boys.

    Staois and his horrible salary should have been in the AHL since the beginning of the year.

  • marty

    Ya i don’t think some time for brodie in abby is a bad thing, what i am a firm believer in is that steady steve is horrible. maybe if he was kept on a 3rd pairing and played about 10-12 min a game the club could tolerate his 2.7 cap hit. im sure that 12 min a game is enuff time for him to lead and i hope so cause in 2 games of watching steady lead he has been a -4 rating and although this stat isnt always relative to the play -4 is generous to him. after watching sat night in person my dislike of him on this team has grown. he couldn’t even take a high stick the right way to draw a penalty although the hissy fit that ensued was humerous. also the being paired with jbo is a horrible sequel of joker and iggy. lets hope it has the same ending.

  • “That said, has the team made the right decision on the ice? Meaning: is the current line-up the best available?”

    I doubt you’ll find many Staios defenders on these venerable pages. Perhaps if it was a choice between the Steady One or Bubba Erickson. That’d be close.

    I don’t think we’re supposed to understand putting Staios on the powerplay. It’s a divine mystery.

    Speaking of divinity, if the Flames are miraculously able to trade away #27, it will be definitive evidence of God’s existence (and the power of prayer). Even Richard Dawkins will be forced to concede to that proof.

  • SarahM

    I’m not against the Brodie move, I’m baffled by the Mikkelsen one. I agree that Brodie needs ice-time and that if he won’t get it with the Flames he should get it with the Heat, but I don’t see the point if Sutter was going to acquire another D from somewhere else…. It would have more more sense to me to sit Staois, let Brodie and Sarich play together until Pardy returned, and then send Brodie down.

  • CitizenFlame

    Does the pick up of Mikkelson fill up Calgary’s contract maximum of 50? Please tell me no. How does Sutter think we need another defenseman when we already have one sitting in the press box, one just got demoted to the farm, and we let one run away to Europe?

    Are we entering into Bizarro world again where Sutter goes from making decisions that make some modicum of hockey sense to making deals like trading away a marketable asset for a 1/4 of the roster of the second worst team in the league or trading a young defenseman for a 37 year-old $2.7 cap hit with your arch rivals… oh and he threw in a promising draft pick or prospect with both of those deals?!