When defenceman Adam Pardy signed a two year, $4 million contract with the Dallas Stars on July 1st, I was like many who felt the Calgary Flames had made the right move in letting him walk. I was a proponent of keeping Pardy on the team for a reasonable price, but his pricetag in Texas did not fit that cateogry. Regardless of salary, though, Pardy leaves the only pro franchise he’s ever known and views Dallas as a great opportunity to move his career forward.
Entering his first stint as an unrestricted free agent, Pardy didn’t quite know what to expect come Canada Day, and he didn’t really wait around long enough to find out. As soon as the Stars contacted him, the Pardy camp signed off, as there wasn’t a large desire to wait around. "There wasn’t a lot of phone calls and back and forth, as soon as the opportunity came up, I jumped at it," Pardy told me last week. "I didn’t wait around, I didn’t want to, you know I was waiting around for a couple months to see if something would happen with Calgary, but nothing did."
Talking to Pardy made me wonder if the Flames had realized earlier on in the summer, prior to July 1st, that he wasn’t going to be part of their long term plans. "At the end of the season I was told, year end meetings, that they want me back and they like what I did in the 30 games I did play," Pardy said. "It’s totally understandable, everyone is kinda wary about taking a guy with a bad shoulder, but nothing happened and then once it got close to July 1, why take something, why not wait the extra couple days?"
Pardy’s season was marred by injuries, one that happened early on in the season and one that ended it during Calgary’s really nice run through January and February. The latter, one that required surgery on his shoulder, was why I thought Pardy might be able to return at a reasonable price, but the Stars did their due diligence, and clearly see something in the the defenceman to pony up the cash they did. It does spell the end of Pardy’s time in Calgary, however, a franchise he’s been with since being a sixth round draft pick in 2004.
"I think it kinda crept up, I was in Calgary doing rehab on my shoulder and there were no talks going on," Pardy told me. "As it got closer and closer to July 1 and after not hearing anything, I started to realize I’m probably not going to be back here next year. Then you start thinking about where to go, where do I see myself playing? It’s kinda scary, it’s tough to leave Calgary, I admit I wanted to stay. I really like the guys, I like the town, everything it’s about and all the changes I think it’s going to be great there."
The word scary was an interesting one, because you can imagine for a guy like Pardy there was probably some uncertainty about if he was going to get a deal or not. "I say scary because I’m thinking I’ve been in this organization for six years, and now they don’t want me back," Pardy revealed. "It’s kinda ‘okay, who’s gonna want me? What’s going to happen here in the next two weeks or the next two years?’ It was kinda that feeling of not knowing what to expect."
When Pardy was in Calgary, he was a third pairing defenceman, playing 5-6 minutes when healthy, and doing a fairly solid job at doing it. Rarely did we see him elevated beyond that, but with an annual cap hit of $2 million in Dallas, top four minutes will have to be a much more regular thing. "Obviously everyone knows the size of the contract, so I’m talking top four minutes, playing in every situation, playing against top players and really stepping up the game," Pardy said when talking about the coming season with the Stars. "There’s nothing less to expect, I know that wasn’t the case in Calgary, but this is a new start and a new opporunity, and I’m looking forward to it."
So what about the contract? It certainly was a deal that caught many eyes in Calgary, because few thought Pardy would be getting that kind of money on the open market. "It’s just numbers, I don’t think the kind of contract should change the type of player or type of person or anything you are," Pardy responded when I asked about his new deal. "They showed a lot of confidence with the size of it, I guess you could say that, but there’s nothing different about the way I approach the game and the way I’m going to prepare for it."
It’s pretty clear the parting of ways between the Flames and Adam Pardy is one that makes sense for both sides. Calgary wasn’t in a spot to pay him $2 million per season, nor were they in a spot to elevate his role much higher than it had been in prior seasons. Pardy wasn’t going to get the same type of playing time with the Flames as he will with the Stars, and obviously if you have a chance to sign a contract like that, you’re going to jump at it almost every time.
In addition to everything in this article, the above interview also has Adam talking about his time with the Flames, his full recovery from shoulder surgery and joining fellow Bonavista, Newfoundland product Michael Ryder on the Stars.