Flames Invite Sheldon Brookbank to Camp Says Report

Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving has bemoaned the team’s lack of defensive depth all summer. He’s seemingly taken a step towards fixing that, via a training camp invitation.

Brookbank turns 34 in October and has a Stanley Cup ring and 351 NHL games under his belt. Now, considering he turned pro in 2001-02 and played his first pro with the Mississippi Sea Wolves, you can probably figure out he’s a guy that basically willed himself to as many games as he’s gotten. He’s played more AHL games in his career than NHL games.

He was Chicago’s #7 defender for the past few seasons and previously had stops in Nashville, New Jersey and Anaheim doing basically the same thing, playing a career-high 80 games for Anaheim two seasons ago. He’s a replacement-level player, and if he catches on with Calgary it’s because they want Tyler Wotherspoon and/or Mark Cundari playing regular minutes in the AHL rather than being an extra body at practice up in Calgary.

And if he’s lousy, he’s fine with sitting, and he’ll probably be a player that can go through waivers and be sent back to the AHL without anyone really fretting about it too much.

If I was a cynical person, I’d also mention that he’s not afraid to fight, with six fights last season.

  • Spoils

    BT said on Wednesday they were looking to do this so it is no surprise they have done so, I’m not sure he is who I would have invited from the older guys on the UFA list but it is telling.

  • redricardo

    No downside to this move. Bring in a veteran for a tryout, see how things go. Obviously, if at camp Cundari skates circles around this guy and is clearly better, then the young guy earns the spot. By displacing a veteran. That’s how things are supposed to work, and teams get better… right?

    Of course, the cynic in me says that even if Cundari does skate circles around him, we’ll still sign and play Brookbank and demote Cundari, because #GRITCHART, and intangibles, and whatnot.

    But, until this becomes a reality, I’m willing to let it play out.

    • Parallex

      I dunno… I think the remote (or sadly in this case distinct) possibility that Brookbank plays for the Flames is a downside. The guy couldn’t look good playing for Chicago…. Chicago! Imagine what he’d look like here.

  • Woodyy77

    No fret for the “let the kids play” lovers out there. Camp invite is just a means of providing competition to see what the kids have got under a little pressure.

    • Burnward

      It may seem as though this is exactly that move? Bring him in for a tryout…makes some competition at camp with a somewhat seasoned NHL player. He acts as a marker to compare the kids to? If he exceeds….great…if a prospects exceeds…even better?

    • dudeguybro

      I don’t, unless Wotherspoon earns a top-6 job he should spend his time playing in the AHL. It’s not like he’s too good for that league yet. CGY is almost emulating DET with their prospect slow-cook and I don’t mind it.

      That said, I’d still rather see Cundari as the 7 and Brookbank mentoring the young D in the AHL when camp’s over.

  • I am trying to be positive about the Flames. I first thought we were getting all of these tough guys to protect the young prospects in the lineup, but now there is no regular roster space for them.

    So I guess the diminishing optimist in me is saying that we want is to make camp tough so the young guys can learn to play with goons hunting them.

    I guess this is #tankmode if Brookbank makes the team, if it isn’t already. Why can’t we develop some young guys in the NHL while in #tankmode (Johnny/Sven)?

    Maybe we just want Adirondack to win a calder cup, while giving the big club the best shot we can at last place.

  • dudeguybro

    Brookbank? Really, it’s bad enough to have pairing of Smid and Engelland I can’t imagine a pairing with Brookbank, yikes. Do we really need to add a 7th d-man? Hell no, we should focus on trying to compliment players to Gio or Brodie. Top 4 d-man don’t grow on trees and it’s rare to see them go to free agency.

  • dudeguybro

    Finally someone who is not afraid to drop the gloves……..for a moment it was starting to look like there would be nothing but pillow fluffers on this team!


  • RedMan

    First it’s PTO so it’s not such a big deal however when you add it to the Eng’s signing at @3m for 3 years (even if he turns out to be a fine #6)it’s to much term for a team in a rebuild and he being 32 already.There are several UFA’s out there that IMO are better than Eng’s on contract or Brookbank on a PTO, I can’t believe that management and the professional scouting staff have not at least approached the following McBain and Diaz both of whom have to better than Eng’s or Morris as a PTO who while older than Brookbanks clearly had a better season last year, Maybe they have just been flatly rejected.For me the major weakness in the organization has not been adequately addressed this off season; hopefully one of Cundari, Acolaste or Spoon(maybe more than one of them) can make a push for the 5/6 spot during training camp and preseason. Hopefully Sieloff can be healthy and return to form and be in the hunt later in the season. Hopefully Ramages playoff success can help him be a leader on the backend in Addy.

    Barring this hopefully BT can make a trade to help improve this position on the team.

  • SavardianSpinorama

    I don’t profess to know how the cap works, but isn’t having Deryk Engelland on the roster about the same thing as having a young player you can send down to the minors without fear of someone picking him up on waivers (thanks to a silly contract)? Just because Engelland is here, doesn’t mean he will be by December. Maybe he’ll end up being a mentor down in Adirondack, albeit an expensive one.

    • RealMcHockeyReturns

      To answer your question I went to capgeek and played armchair GM, with Eng’s in the lineup the Flames payroll is $53.2m slightly above the floor of $51, if he is sent down most of his salary still counts on the Flames payroll and so if Cundari is the call up(the lowest salary of the likely call ups) the teams payroll would be $52.9 still above the floor.

  • SavardianSpinorama

    I’d rather see a guy like Baertschi (who this org deoesn’t seem keen on giving a legit shot anyways), moved for a young D like McCabe from Buffalo or Gormley from Arizona, who are ready to step in, but also face log jams with their current teams. You know, like something a rebuilding team might do. Starting to look an awful lot like Sutter 2.0 around here.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      As to your suggestions of the trade, a deal with Buffalo Sven for McCabe would likely help both organizations but I a not sure that the Flames have totally given up on Sven, The problem right now is we have logjam of forwards who all seem ready for a long look at the NHL level but seem to be up against it via NHL vets who may not have as much upside.

      • SavardianSpinorama

        The Sabres haven’t “given up” on McCabe either. That sort of trade isn’t about “giving up” it’s about prudent management.

        That said, I’m not sure why Buffalo would have any interest at all in Baertschi. They’re not exactly short on smaller scoring forwards (though looking at their system right now, they do seem to be a little thin on LW, somehow). Phoenix Arizona and New Jersey would be better targets, since they both need scoring forwards (NJ in particular, as their system is utterly barren at forward. Pretty much the only worthwhile player up front is Reid Boucher).

        • SavardianSpinorama

          Thanks for your insight as I was responding to the wolf it was more of general statement. Who do you think is available from either Arizona or the Devils that is an appropriate deal for Sven that would be a good hockey trade for both teams?

    • RedMan

      i would respectfully disagree with the assesment of Baertschi – I don’t think this org has given up on him. He is just fine, and is nowhere near being “ripe” let alone approaching a “best-before” date.

      He had issues last year when he had to report to the prospect camp and tournament, and ended up struggling in the minors. he did not earn a spot last year on the club, but i sure don’t get the sense that he has been written off. he is still a great prospect who has to put it together a little more.

      • RedMan

        The fact they gave him #27 certainly implies that there’s a place for him in their plans.


        Well, I’ve been pushing for an Adam Larsson trade for a while now, and I really do think the two teams could make such a trade work. I don’t know that he’s “available” per se, but the Devils don’t seem to be handling him all that well, he hasn’t progressed much in the last couple years, and he seems to have been passed by Eric Gelinas on the depth chart. I think there’s a trade there if anyone cares to look.

        As for the Coyotes, the popular choice is Brandon Gormley. Makes sense from a need standpoint, and he’s a little closer to the NHL than most of the other guys who might be “available for the right price.” And the Coyotes have had difficulty scoring for years.

        • McRib

          The funny thing to all of this is Brandon Gormley was drafted using our pick in the Olli trade was he not? I think Sven Baertschi has much more upside than any of the mentioned defenders no use trading him when value is so low.