Flames Sign Begin

Word is former Flame Steve Begin will be donning the Flaming C again. In camp on a pro try-out, the Flames have apparently signed the 34-year old grinder. Terms of the deal have not been released, but bet on a one-year, near league minimum contract.

Begin hasn’t played in the league since 2010-11, where he appeared in just two games for Nashville. The last time he spent a legitimate amount of time in an NHL line-up was 2009-10 with the Boston Bruins (77 games). That year he started the most often of any Bruin in the defensive zone, but also finished with the worst possession rate on the club as well (he was one of only two Bruins to be in the red in terms of corsi that year).

Keep in mind, that was Begin three years ago. It’s hard to say how the current version will hold up against NHL competition these days.

No doubt Begin has been brought on to grind it out and mix things up, which was his calling card back when he was in the league. He’s not big (6′, 200 pounds) so he’ll be asked to fill the agitator role rather than that of a pugilist the nights he is in the line-up.

The Flames brass has been vocal about the roster’s need for more sandpaper and toughness, so I guess this is the solution. Frankly I wouldn’t have bothered myself – a player like Ben Street seems to have far more overall utility – but it wouldn’t be the NHL if your favorite team wasn’t signing at least one apparently superfluous checker or tough guy every year…

Calgary has to make a few more decisions on players very shortly, so we will update you when those are announced.

  • everton fc

    Always liked Begin. A “good news” story.

    Perhaps an opportunity for Begin to root in the organization. Say, a coaching/scouting role. Another Quebecois! A guy who plays with passion. Probably good for the dressing room.

    All that said, I find myself wondering; “Was Winchester that slow? That bad in camp??” Winchester could have certainly given Jackman’s fists a rest.

  • everton fc

    Frankly I’d rather they have Begin in and out of the lineup in the 13th/14th fwd position than someone like Street who can help the farm team a lot more. It really screws the Abbotsford team to take their best players and have them watch from the bench or stands most of the time, when the difference between Street and Begin (or insert any other replacement level player) at the nhl level is essentially nil.

  • Michael

    Begin is a rare commodity, a Flames second round pick that actually went on to play a decent number of games in the NHL.

    I only went to one Flames pratice, and both Begin and Winchester looked out of place, so based on my very very limited scouting, the signing is a bit of a puzzle. Cheap enough, not a lot of risk with a two way contract, and he may surprise, but overall, I think I would have gone in a different direction.

  • MC Hockey

    No big surprise. I think Flames are determined to stay old LOL. But he could be useful however I thought his stats in Boston would have been better…they won the Cup when he was there did they not?

  • RKD

    The biggest thing Begin brings is that he is a heart and soul guy. There were a few really poor nights in March when the Flames were near a playoff spot and they were playing through the motions. He is a guy who hates to lose.

    Begin is just going to play on PK, get involved in fights and stand up for guys like Baertschi, Cervenka, Hudler, etc. who aren’t going to fight.

    It’s pretty low risk, I would have taken Ben Street but maybe this is the season of comebacks, Kovalev, Redden, Begin, and I’m sure very soon, Gomez.

  • loudogYYC

    Not sure about this signing. If Comeau can play with a chip on his shoulder, I’m not sure what other contribution Begin can make. It is the proud Albertan Calgary Flames though, so I guess it makes sense.

    On a side note, congrats on landing the Tilted Kilt as a site sponsor. That place has the perfect amount of distraction to balance out slow service. I’ll be watching a game or 2 there for sure.

  • T&A4Flames

    “34-year old grinder”. Yup sounds about right for a signing by this team. Sigh.

    Off topic, but did anyone see the article on sportsnet comparing iggy to Sundin. Not in terms of hockey player but in terms of how Sundin’s Leaf loyalty ended up costing the Leafs 5 years of progress. It’s a good read, and I completely agree. I hope Iggy does the right thing and demands out. For his sake and ours. Him staying in town is pure lose-lose for him and for the future assets of this organization.

  • Probably the best explanation for the signing comes from something I and Justin Bourne discussed during the lock-out:

    Fourth line players who exemplify sacrifice, effort and coach-ability help to reinforce the coach’s authority. Also, they improve cohesion by modeling the social norms of hockey/teamwork while denuding the effect of market norms that would otherwise influence players to foreground their own interests above the team’s.

    Okay, that wasn’t very short. More to the point: players who are examplars of ideal behaviour and attitude but not talent are still valued by decision makers.

    • the forgotten man

      I don’t understand what there is to talk about. We have 7 dmen with Babchuck coming back we have 8, plus we are now at 48 contracts.

      I will change my opinion of the direction of this club if they dont have Brodie playing regularly.

      He is clearly better than Babchuck, McCarthy and Sarich. By seasons end, if developed properly, I feel like he could end up being better that Smith and Butler also.

      It makes no sense to sign McCarthy, we will just stunt Brodies development and limit our options in the trade and college FA market being at 49 contracts..

  • supra steve

    This is too funny. We sign a 34 year old grinder who hasn’t been healthy enough, good enough or young enough for any other team to sign. The Quest for 30th continues.

  • Canucks Suck

    Obviously he was better than Winchester to earn a spot on the team. This does not bother me. We just signed a bunch of players under 30 and have some young ones moving up I dont see the harm in having some experience on the bottom 6 for a few minutes a night.

    • Canucks Suck

      Why does this team always seem to need to sign experience and leadership? Is it a sign that the leadership group doesn’t lead? Because, this team needs an energy injection in this role. A 34 year old that has been broken down for years is not what this team needs. These kinds of deals are why this organization has been out of the first round once in more than 2 decades.

      • Canucks Suck

        I do agree with you to some extent I was playing the devils advocate a little but I also see the flames coaches saw he was better than winchester (who I was hoping they would actually sign). I had no idea how the camp went for either of them but if I see winchester putting up some decent 4th line numbers on another team of course I am going to be pissed off. I’m just assuming/hoping the flames management knows more than me haha.

  • the forgotten man

    I log in & I felt I’ve been slimed! Green, WTF!

    Begin, meh. I’m sure he will carry us through this condensed season. Can he win faceoffs?
    I aint saying nothing until we get some games under our belt.

    • 48 by my count. I have a sneaking feeling they may want to be keeping contract space open for Ramo and Gaudreau this year. It looks to me like the KHL regular season is over for Omsk on Feb 17th. Depending on how long they last in the playoffs, he’ll probably be available sometime in March (this is just my guess, if anyone else knows more, please share). The Frozen Four is the second week of April, plenty of time left to get Johnny Hockey into 5 games to see if he’s ready for the show, and yet not burn the first year of his ELC.

      I hope they don’t, because I’m not certain he should be aboning college, and probably needs to grow a bit more as well. But I just have a feeling from snippets of Weisbrod comments that they’re definitely wanting to keep that door open.

  • Does anyone else get the sick feeling that Brodie is going to be doing quite a bit of watching from the press box? That would be completely inexplicable to me, but that’s where he seems to be on the depth chart.