Flames re-sign Tyler Wotherspoon

It’s not exactly the free agent signing(s) Flames fans are waiting for, but the team announced today they have re-inked 23-year-old defender Tyler Wotherspoon. According to the team site, the contract is a one-year, two-way deal, which is to be expected for a guy entering the “prove it” phase of his young career. 

Wotherspoon is still an unknown commodity at the NHL level and he’s running out of time to convince the club he’s anything more than an AHLer. He appeared in 11 games for the team last year and looked comfortable in a depth role, but the truth is we don’t really know what kind of NHLer he might be yet. 

The problem is Wotherspoon’s path to the show is blocked by a collection of veterans in Deryk Engelland, Dennis Wideman, Ladislav Smid and Jyrki Jokipakka. He’ll either need Treliving to clear out some dead wood before the season starts or a spate of long-term injuries to afflict the blueline to really get a shot. 

If Wotherspoon can’t establish himself this year, there’s a good chance both parties will move on. With youngsters like Brandon Hickey, Brett Kulak and Rasmus Andersson (EDIT – And Kylington!) pressing for spots in the next few seasons, the Flames will likely decide to make room for the younger, more promising players. On the other hand, Wotherspoon taking a step forward will make it easier to cheaply replace guys like Smid, Engelland or Wideman, who see their contracts expire after 2016-17. 

UPDATE: According to General Fanager, Wotherspoon is coming in at a rather cheap cap hit.

He certainly provides more bang for the buck than most of the Flames’ other bottom-three options.

  • freethe flames

    Finally we can discuss a Flames signing. With Smid likely to be on the LTIR there is a spot for Spoon to earn. Hopefully he can push for a spot personally I would like to see him get and opportunity with Hamilton and would much rather see him play as the 5/6 than seeing both Engs and Wideman play every night. But as we say he needs to earn his time and prove that he can play. He needs to make it hard on the coaching staff not to play him. I hope he earns it.

    Now BT get Johnny & Monny signed and move one of Wides or Engs and I would be a happy fan.

  • Just.Visiting

    Happy to see Tyler resign.

    I thought that he looked pretty solid late in the year.

    I was disappointed that he wasn’t provided much of an opportunity to show what he could do on his other callups.

    I think that management has to be sensitive to ensure that they continue to offer hope to the guys riding the buses in the minors.

    Depth signings from other organizations that take away an opportunity by overflowing the roster with similar type players and not getting a chance to play on a callup aren’t the best messages to be sending.

    Is there even room for Hathaway this year?

    Hopefully, we hear something on Nak soon too. Kind of surprised no one else has taken a run at him.

  • redhot1

    Wishful thinking, but hopefully the guy who (potentially) has a long term future with the team is given a longer look then mediocre defenseman who are almost guaranteed to not be on the team past this year.

    Because how he was treated the last year or two by Bob was pretty bush league.

  • OKG

    Wotherspoon-Wideman has some serious potential as a 3rd pair.

    Jokipakka-Hamilton… a better system and it might be a solid 2nd pair.

    Toss in Elliott and Johnson in net…

    And Monahan getting a little bit quicker…

    and Tkachuk/Bennett as a 3rd line…

    and some of the best first call ups in the league in Jankowski/Pribyl/Shinkaruk/Mangiapane/Hathaway, Kulak/Kylington, and Gillies

    We may be a President’s Trophy dark horse.

    Well that or a normal playoff team. I will take either.

      • OKG

        The 14-15 Rangers won the PT with a worse roster 5hanks to Talbot / Lundqvist. Goaltending + Goal Scoring can cover up many a technical issue. Elliott is an elite goalie and Johnson is a rock. Our scoring depth rides only slightly heavily on Sam Bennett but that is a worthwhile wager.

    • Baalzamon

      Wideman actually performed rather well last season when he played with, like, actual NHL players.

      His most common partner was Engelland, and they were, of course, terrible together (38%CF). Next was Russell, which wasn’t much better (43%CF–with 58.5% ZS!!!).

      But beyond them?

      Giordano: 52%CF, 47%ZS

      Hamilton: 57%CF, 51.7%ZS

      The numbers fell down again with Smid (of course) and (somewhat surprisingly) Brodie.

      IMO, there’s an argument for splitting up Giordano and Brodie, simply because I have more faith in the ability of one of those two to carry a sub-#4 D on the second pair than in Hamilton (who himself performed well with both Giordano or Brodie overall). But it seems that a second pair of Hamilton and Wideman wouldn’t be the disaster Russell-Hamilton was, oddly enough.

      • freethe flames

        Unfortunately there is every likelyhood that Wides and Engs will end up on the ice together and that is frightening. Could a case be made for the following parteners: Wides/Gio, Hamilton/JJ and TJ/Spoon. Play Tj/Gio together when the game is on the line and on the PK. I am okay with either or Wides and Engs playing but not both on most nights and never together. I am still hopeful that BT can trade one of Wides and Engs and sign Nakadaddy as I think he is a more complete defender than either of them.

  • Backlund Best

    I’m quite curious how the last spot in the Top-4 shapes up by the end of this year. We have, as has been pointed out by others ad nauseum, a dominant top 3, and an absolutely abysmal bottom 3 with Jokipakka somewhere in between those two extremes. I know the questions about how to clear dead weight have been asked plainly, so instead I’ll ask about the replacements. For the sake of simplicity I’m going to assume that Nakladal does not got resigned unfortunately.

    Contenders for that 4th spot are Jokipakka, Spoon, Kulak, and my darkhorse is Kylington (I sure hope no one else gets a sniff at the spot, they’ve all repeatedly proven they can’t handle it).

    Jokipakka hasn’t really played enough in Calgary to know if a change of scenery helped or not, because even though he looked fine by the eyes, the numbers from his time in Dallas aren’t flattering. Does that change in a new system and playing with a premier defensemen like Dougie? Signs at this time point to no, but who knows?

    Spoon might be the most natural fit there right now on paper. A modern stay at home type d-man (i.e. not a bruiser, can actually move the puck) to let Dougie have the green light, but can he handle Top-4 minutes? We don’t have enough evidence to know yet.

    Kulak was the beneficiary of the Brodie injury last camp and got into some games before Brodie got back. He made Engeland look serviceable, so maybe he could fit with Dougie? Not saying Dougie has to be rescued haha, just that it could be a good fit if Kulak doesn’t have to drag an anchor around. He’d have to win the spot as I think the roster spot is Spoon’s to lose due to waiver eligibility.

    My Darkhorse as I mentioned is Kylington. It would be awesome if he came and blew the doors off. He’s so dynamic it would be so much fun to have him come up and stay up at some point. This is what my heart wants, though my brain knows that his contract can still slide one more year and I think Kylington at $762K in 2019-2020 is incredibly more valuable than him playing in the NHL this season.

    So? Which of those 4 guys finishes this season as the number 4 guy? Any of them?