Why the Troy Brouwer signing looks bad for the Flames

Despite being up tight against the cap, the Flames made a relatively big splash in the free agent market. They didn’t sign one of the most expensive contracts of the day – with some of the dollars and term being tossed around, far from it – but signing Troy Brouwer to a four-year, $18 million deal is definitely notable.

Brouwer is big. He’s a right winger. He has veteran experience. These all fit Calgary’s needs.

That’s about where it ends, though.

Brouwer in St. Louis

Brouwer spent the 2015-16 season in St. Louis after the Washington Capitals traded him for T.J. Oshie.

Season GP G A P ATOI 5v5 CF 5v5 OZS
2015-16 82 18 21 39 16:00 49.56% 26.71

He played middle six minutes and had modest production for them. If the Flames are going to put him on a line with Sean Monahan or Sam Bennett, as is rumoured, then an uptick in ice time and uptick in linemates could see an increase in production.

Speaking of linemates, let’s take a look at how Brouwer fared with who he played with in St. Louis. Via Corsica:

troy brouwer blues wowy

Almost all of Brouwer’s most common linemates were better away from him. Jay Bouwmeester is the lone exception; Brouwer was marginally better away from him than vice versa. But Brouwer and Bouwmeester still sunk each other, as did Brouwer and Alex Steen.

On his own, Brouwer sunk Paul Stastny, big time. Colton Parayko had to do major work to drag him up, as did Joel Edmundson. He brought Kevin Shattenkirk down, and suffered away from Robby Fabbri.

Considering how Stastny and Fabbri were two of his most common linemates, that’s a really bad look for Brouwer. David Backes was his other most common linemate, but they appeared to mesh together well enough (although Backes was better away from him, too).

Via OwnThePuck, we can get a general impression of what kind of fit Brouwer was with the Blues:

brouwer stl otp

His linemates were better away from him. His offence was bottom six caliber. His possession was bottom six caliber. He is not getting paid bottom six money for the next four seasons.

So far, based on just last season, the Brouwer signing isn’t looking too good. But he only spent the one season with the Blues; maybe it just wasn’t as great a fit.

Brouwer in Washington

Brouwer played four seasons with the Washington Capitals after they traded the 26th overall pick in the 2011 draft for him. He was 26 years old when he started in DC; his last season there was his 29-year-old season. That’s going to give us a solid look at him, so let’s dive in.

Season GP G A P ATOI 5v5 CF 5v5 OZS
2011-12 82 18 15 33 17:11 48.40% 29.60%
2012-13 47 19 14 33 18:32 47.53% 25.50%
2013-14 82 25 18 43 18:51 47.82% 30.38%
2014-15 82 21 22 43 17:31 50.83% 35.01%

The first thing that jumps out to me: Brouwer got bigger minutes in Washington. Despite that, his point scoring didn’t exactly see an increase. That didn’t come until he started getting more offensive zone starts.

The second thing that jumps out to me: his corsi numbers have never been particularly great. He has had one year over 50%.

Only once in the past five seasons has Brouwer been a positive corsi rel player: in 2013-14, he was a +0.11% CFrel guy at 5v5. Every single other year, he has been negative relative to his team. (I know this is the Washington section, but his worst CFrel numbers came last season: -3.32%.)

Let’s take a look at just how Brouwer fared with his linemates over four seasons with the Capitals:

troy brouwer capitals wowy

It’s not much more flattering than his portrait with the Blues. Once again, almost all of his teammates was better away from Brouwer than with him, and this is a four year sample we’re looking at. No more excuses.

Brouwer collaborated with Eric Fehr and Mike Green to all boost each other, but Fehr and Green were still better away from Brouwer than Brouwer was away from them.

He brought down John Carlson and Karl Alzner. He also brought down Brooks Laich and Jay Beagle, but was better away from them. He worked relatively well with Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

But the main talk is Brouwer playing on the top lines with the Flames’ young, budding stars. Questioning how well that’s going to turn out doesn’t have to be a hypothetical, because he lived it with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, two of the best forwards in the entire game.

And he brought them both down. Both superstar, high-scoring forwards fared better when Brouwer wasn’t on their line.

Let’s take an in-depth look at his 2014-15 season:

brouwer wsh otp

This is more flattering than his 2015-16 season. His production is still at bottom six levels, but Brouwer saw a massive boost in his shot suppression. It wasn’t that high throughout his tenure in Washington. It did steadily increase as he progressed, though – so it might be something to look forward to in Calgary.

Was this the best use of Calgary’s money?

The Flames are up tight against the cap; more so after today. Presumably until Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau sign their extensions, Brouwer is now the highest paid Flames forward with a $4.5 million cap hit for the next four seasons. 

He’s a big, veteran right winger. That alone is a fit. It does give him a leg up over, say, Joe Colborne, who signed a two-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche for a $2.5 million annual average value. Colborne was big, and he could play right wing, but he doesn’t have quite the veteran expertise Brouwer does, and he was a left shot, compared to Brouwer’s right.

Colborne is also five years younger, signed for two years fewer, and at $2 million cheaper per year. Hell, say what you will about when most of Colborne’s points came, or the Backlund Bump – his career high is higher than Brouwer’s.

brouwer vs colborne

Colborne is significantly better in almost every single stat. The shot generation is on par, but that’s about it.

If the Flames were going to spend this money no matter what, they probably would have been better off just giving Colborne what he was asking for.

What this means

Signing Brouwer indicates the Flames want to win now. This isn’t a move a team makes when they’re still rebuilding; Brouwer’s reputation as a player with size who’s gone deep into the playoffs multiple times doesn’t allow for that.

The only problem is, are the Flames actually going to be a better team with Brouwer? He fills a positional need, but does he fill it particularly well? Not only that, but he’s getting older, and he’s not going to get any cheaper.

It’s easy to say that you have to pay to get players on July 1; in that case, maybe just… don’t go out on July 1? It’s easy to say Brouwer’s deal is maybe a year too long; it was just as easy to say that about Mason Raymond. It’s still just as easy to say that about Matt Stajan, Brandon Bollig, Dennis Wideman, Ladislav Smid, Deryk Engelland. These things add up. Just because the Flames only have five players committed to Brouwer’s final season doesn’t mean they won’t add up.

And it’s $4.5 million. With Monahan and Gaudreau still to re-sign. With the defence likely needing some bolstering. With three more forwards to bring in to create a full lineup. It isn’t just going to be tight; there’s going to have to be a trade, at this rate.

My initial impression of this signing was “hm.” Now that I’ve spent a bit more time looking into it, I really, really don’t like it.

We’ll see what happens when Brouwer hits the ice. But the fact he couldn’t make it work with Ovechkin and Backstrom is a massive red flag for me – and at $4.5 million, it’s not a good one to have sitting on your cap for the next four seasons.

  • Theo4HoF

    I think Brouwers last year could be a struggle but you gotta pay a little extra to get a player for nothing.

    The flames are one of the smaller teams in the league and have basically no right handed shots. So Brouwer fits some of those needs. Also good heart and soul guy to teach the young guys.

    No issue with the signing, 3-4 mil would of been more on par but you can’t get something for nothing.

  • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

    Relax. Brouwer is fine. He fills a hole. Of course we over paid, we gave nothing to get him. He is something we need, gives the coach options and was probably the second best RW available this off season. BT knows what he is doing.

  • McRib

    Outside of last year hasn’t Joe Colborne been awful possessionaly and at least from the eye test he played in an insanily favourable situation last season (i.e. He will never get that kind of opportunity again). I mean he had 15-20+ Games on the first line. If anything Frolik, Backlund should now get more offensive minutes with him gone. Anyway I have always been under the impression that throughout his career Joe Colborne has essentially been dominated even strength outside of last year. Maybe I am wrong…

    It just seems like the advanced stat community during the course of one year has gone from absolutely hating this player to wanting this player desperately…. I have really started to appreciate Advanced Stats, but I do have a problem with using selective figures to make an isolated argument look better or worse. If we are willing to admit teams (like 2014-2015 Flames) can have statistical anomaly seasons.

    Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t have minded signing Colborne to $2.5 Million x 2 Years and don’t really disagree with this article at all. Just find it funny we are now praising Colborne statistically and find it strange on an individual basis how short term of a memory most Advanced Stats folks have, when they also acknowledge that teams can go on unsustainable runs. These “hero charts” have really become the trend of the day, but I have to say I would love to see a more long term data set of three seasons for these charts. I understand Colborne is “fairly young”, but I would put a lot of money on the fact that this was an isolated occurrence (more than willing to eat crow if he hits 40+ points again next year, but I am not buying it). One thing I won’t miss about Colborne is regularly watching a 6’5″ forward play like he is 5’9″.

    • Dougie

      Even strength Colborne played 117 minutes with Monahan and 74 minutes with Gaudreau. Hardly 15-20+ games. By comparison he played 259 with Stajan, 171 with Jones and 94 with Bouma.

      WRT to Backlund and Frolic. Frolic had 18% of his 5-5 ice time with Colborne (136 of 978) while scoring 29% of his points (7/24). Backlund had 28% of his 5-5 points (8/29) while playing 25% of his 5-5 time with Colborne. Frolic’s corsi was improved while playing with Colborne (52.7-51.5) while Backlunds was worse (49.6-53.1). I don’t think having Colborne as a line mate hurt either players offensive production.

  • KiLLKiND

    Brent Connally a much better hockey player that would be awesome to have on our 2nd line with Bennett just signed for 1 year 850k. Can we not let Treliving sign anymore UFA’s? Is that a rule we could implement, just no Brad remember last year when signed Brouwer for 4.5 when you could have gotten Connally for 1?

    • McRib

      We are talking about Brent Connelly the same player who completely disappeared down the stretch when it mattered for the Bruins (3 Points in Final 15 GP)? Connelly should never have been a Top. 10 pick, as Tampa Bay reached on Draft day (2010 was a bad Draft Year) and it’s the only reason he is still kicking around the league, IMO.

  • sneedis

    The problem with Brouwer is that he’s a bottom 6 player making $4.5MM. It’s not a travesty, but it will cause problems when players like Bennett and Tkachuk need to be re-signed. It may even cause some issues re-signing Monahan and Gaudreau.

    When you consider we also lack a #4 defenceman (and I know Wideman’s cap comes off the books next year), this is not how I would have used my cap space. Brouwer brings his teams down more than he brings them up, and he’s played with some strong linemates.

    This is a really unexpected step backwards for Treliving. I thought he would have learned with Raymond, Engelland, etc.

    • RealMcHockeyReturns

      !!Not true supposedly overpaying Brouwer affects future re-signing of Bennett or (haha) Tkachuk…we have LOTS of cap room starting next year (for Bennett).

      And Tkachuk may not be re-signed for 4 more years depending on whether his entry-level contract can slide.

  • Kevin R

    Seriously Ari!!! Show me one of your posts last year or even the year before that you came anywhere close to being complimentary about Joe Colborne & I’ll show you many that you trashed him. Cmon now! What is this? Yes St Louis & wash fans have good things to say about him. He’s the RW bridge we need to get some of these young guys up to the big level like Poirrier & Shinkaruk. He had a pretty solid year last year playing on St Louis 2nd line.

    • flamesburn89

      Sounds to me like she’s saying Colborne is a better player in her mind (and cheaper) than Brouwer, not necessarily that Colborne is actually a good player.

      • Kevin R

        Someone please explain how a guy that has scored 17-25 goals per year for the last 7 years is a bad player. FFS!! To me that shows someone who consistently will be a 20 goal scorer for your team. & now you interpret her stand as Colborne being better value than Brouwer after there was rarely an article post where she didn’t trash him. I’ve been watching hockey for a lot of years & I think guys that can consistently put the puck in the net 20 times a year is a good friggin asset to acquire for free.

        • FeyWest

          If you put in 1 goal in a 4-2 loss (20 times) doesn’t mean you’re a good player. Unfortunately there’s no way to weight a goal because it would be time consuming and purely based on opinion.

          If you are consistently putting up huge numbers in the latter half of a season that you are officially going to miss the playoffs, it can be seen as consistently underwhelming.

          There are many interpretations of how the stats project a player to be if you go back and see the context in how each of these stats are tallied up. That’s why I take stats with a grain of salt because context plays a huuuuge factor in their analysis.

          All I remember is more often than not Colborne’s gotten lucky during times of no pressure, and play died on his stick more often than he’s driven play. I’ve never hated on Colborne because he was useful with us just knew there could always be upgrades on him.

  • Danomitee

    I’m alright with picking up Brouwer, the price and term are a little more then I’d like but it is free agency. Everyone seems pretty angry about this, Colborne was hated by just about everyone, and frankly we weren’t winning with him so I understand the change. In Brouwer we actually have a physical forward who can also play the game, looking at you Bouma, Ferland, Bollig.

    I’d just about guarantee Wideman will be traded by the end of the week

  • FeyWest

    If it was 3/3 it would be really good value in my opinion, we all have to remember this is UFA and things tend to be more expensive. Yes of course 3/3 is not what he’s signed for but I think it’s what we needed to at least bolster our RW/RHS position. He’s a guy who actually uses his body and who knows, with Glen Gulutzen at the helm we may see some improvement all around

    There’s just a ton of Question marks this year and I actually like it because I did not really want the same team we had last year, too much glass cannon. I think this in combination with all the other moves this off-season at least makes us a more balanced and consistent team.

  • Ken V.

    Bottom line for me is that there were better products available at lower costs. This is a business correct? This was a mistake by Tre. We can accept it, its done. Doesn’t mean we have to try and put lipstick on it to wrap our heads around it or make it look pretty. Its bad, no we move on.

    • FeyWest

      How do we know it’s bad if we haven’t even seen any games played…. New Goalies, New players, New coach, New systems…. Colborne was soft and there’s no guarantee Colborne would have signed with us unless we overpaid and I’d rather pay 4/4.5 for a known commodity than 4/4.5 for someone everyone believes is not going to put up the same numbers.

      • Ken V.

        You are going to have to show me where I indicated that Joe Colbourne was who I was referring to….. I was more on the lines of Martin 4/$10m , Weise 4/$9.4m . Both better deals for similar guys. Just saying.

        • FeyWest

          It was more in regards to you instantly calling it bad, I was just using Colborne in my example, didn’t intend to insinuate you were talking about Colborne. Martin we were rumored to be talking to, but again it also comes down to wanting to be here over somewhere else offering similar contracts.

          Are Martin and Weise better players? I don’t know but what i do know is Brouwer was targeted/scouted as being a strong fit for Calgary. I’ll call it bad when it shows to be bad, there’s nothing to back up it being good or bad, just showing as a contract that is probably overpaid by 1/1.5 (In my opinion and more than willing to say I was wrong if it comes to it).

        • FeyWest

          Actually 2.5, but regardless how do we know 3 wasn’t offered, I mean we can do this guessing game of well he would have signed for 3mil… I was just using known numbers and 4 years/4.5 mil is probably more of a guarantee of Colborne signing than 3 mil. That was all I was getting at. I just was not a fan of Colborne’s on-ice play.

          Colborne was quoted as saying he left money on the table to play for Colorado at 2/2.5

        • FeyWest

          I don’t know maybe we should? I haven’t seen Glass play so I couldn’t say its good or bad but I’d at least give it a chance before I say just no.

          If we signed Russell I would say it’s bad because I’ve seen him play for the Flames and did not like it very much.

          I’ll reserve positive or negative judgement when I see a reason to give it and have something to back it up.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Not happy with this contract.

    Too much money and too much term for a middle-of-the-roster guy.

    The above stats aren’t really sufficient to evaluate a player like Brouwer, particularly as he’s likely to have unique deployment in terms of zone starts, special teams, etc.

    But I’m not really happy with how the Flames have fared in UFA today, especially in light of contracts given to guys like Staal, Colborne, and Perron.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Seems like an overpay for Brouwer, and I’m not terribly optimistic that he’ll actually be the 3rd best forward on the team, while being paid that way. I guess we’ll see what the new season brings.

  • Stud Puffin

    I’m sorry, but I am loving the irony here. The last 2 years we have endured the endless whining, crying, snipes at Colborne, and now the same people who have went out of their way to completely degrade him as a player are howling for him to be signed instead of Brouwer. This is HILARIOUS!.

    Yes this was not a great contract. Not entirely happy with it. A couple years too long, and a couple of million too expensive. I do think he will bring the same offensive numbers Colborne had this year and that is what they wanted. Colborne was not a good bet to repeat his offense.

    • KiLLKiND

      If you noticed the comments section for the past I dunno 6 months, people have been fine with Colborne’s play and did want him to remain on the team. That does not mean we wanted him to play on the power play or in the top 6. Just because we were unhappy with his deployment does not mean we were unhappy with his play.

      I would have much rather signed Colborne for the same contract as Brouwer. Colborne is younger, on the up swing and has all the locker room attibutes that teams like. If we had to offload one in two years most teams would rather take Colborne as a salvation project compared to a 32 year old never hit 45 points salvation project/ cap dump. This is not saying Colborne should be signed to this contract either, as his contract with the Avelanche would have been perfect for Calgary.

      Do you actually believe Brouwer has a better chance to match Colborne’s numbers from last year? What made you arrive at that conclusion? Was it the massive amounts of points he got in Washington, the fact that he drags all of his teamates down, or is it simply because Calgary will improve all around next year and doesn’t have a higher paid RW than him?

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        I can’t believe people don’t see the inherent value in this signing. Brouwer is a beast, who can move up and down the line up and put up some points. To maximize our small players effectiveness you need these types of players.

        With Edmonton signing Lucic for their top line Brouwer’s signing was even more vital. Lucic would have been a perfect policeman for our young players but not at a term of 7 years. If BT would not have addressed this need, Flames fans would be screaming mad. Losing Colbourn is disappointing but he did not make us play bigger. Absolutely, need to sign Nakladal to solidify the D and hope some rookies steal some jobs.

    • TheoForever

      I always liked Joe, and Brouwer is great (too expensive), but fills the need. People that constantly attack players, still have the whipping boys Stajan, Wiedman, etc.

      ohh and Backs

    • Stud Puffin

      And if you think Colborne will repeat his offensive production it is a terrible move. However its not like he traded his top LW’er for a 2nd pairing dman with no offense or anything, so I’d be careful about gloating.

      • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

        That was a team move for Edmonton.They got New Jersey’s best dman and were able to sign the epitome of the NHL power forward. So id say thats a good move. Two for one.

        • Stud Puffin

          See that’s where you are wrong. He was their 3rd best dman behind Greene and Severson. AND you still don’t have a pp dman. Brilliant gm’ing there!

          Lucic buyout proof for 7 years, good deal for first 3 to 4 years. last 3 years you will regret it big time.

          • Danomitee

            NJ scored less than 2 goals per game last year. Of course they’re a defensive team, it was there only chance in hell of winning. They also have a pretty good goalie in Schneider and sometimes when you have a good goalie they allow less goals.

            I can’t understand you’re blind faith to the Oilers management, read a book.

        • cberg

          You can rationalize that disaster of a trade if you must, but they could still have signed Lucic and dumped Pouliot or someone else, the two were not related. But that’s besides the point, this is about the Flames, and today is a good day.

  • RKD

    I get it but the Engelland, Smid, Wideman and Stajan deals are just as bad if not worse. Some of the young players on the Flames need to be surrounded by good vets. The Flames young kids can’t take nights off especially on the road. I still think Browuer can give us 30 points a season. Brouwer will kill penalties, this is more of Burke. Looking to add a guy with sandpaper and grit.

  • K Theory

    Reposting from the other thread:

    I’m actually quite happy with this signing. We paid a little more than ideal, due to the day on the calendar, but Brouwer is a still a very solid pickup. I’m sure that without his brutal OZS% deployment, he’d do a lot better on the counting stats.

    One of the key stats that I find to be pretty enlightening is to compare how often a player starts vs. finishes in the offensive zone. I.e., how effective they are at pushing the play up the ice. It’s a handy compliment to the raw CF% numbers. By that metric, Brouwer was absolutely one of the best on the Blues (behind Backes).

    Compare him to FlamesNation darlings Backlund and Frolik. Stats below are all for 5v5 play.

    CF%
    T.Brouwer: 48.9
    M.Frolik: 51.44
    M.Backlund: 52.33

    ZSR -> ZFR (Change%)
    T.Brouwer: 38.7 -> 45.5 (+6.8%)
    M.Frolik: 48.0 -> 49.7 (+1.7%)
    M. Backlund: 49.08 -> 51.02 (+1.9%)

    I also think that he’ll help out our special teams quite a lot. He scored at a higher rate on the PP than just about anyone on the flames.Take a look at his goal difference (For – Against) on the power play:

    PP GF-GA-GD/60
    T.Brouwer: 7.2 // -0.8 // 6.4
    S.Monahan: 7.1 // -0.4 // 6.7
    M.Gio: 7.4 // 0.8 // 6.4

    Penalty kill rates will also put him right at the top of the Flames. Take a look at his goal difference (Against-For) on penalty kill:

    PK GF-GA-GD/60
    T.Brouwer: 0.0 // -4.9 // -4.9
    M.Frolik: 2.0 // – 7.7 // – 5.7
    M.Backlund: 2.0 // -7.5 // -5.5

    All in all, I think that there is a lot more to Brouwer’s game that might meet the eye at a first glance. I’m sure that he’ll be a solid contributor and will give decent (not great) value for what he’s paid.

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    Colbourne is the guy you should have signed 2.5 mil/year. good deal for Colorado.
    Depth down the middle would have been a strong point vs an unknown.
    Bennett barely played centre last year.

    Terrible move letting Colbourne go. He was one of the few big guys you had.

  • everton fc

    Vanek and Connolly would have cost 3.4mill. I know Vanek’s a flake, but Vanek scores more goals. Both would have been nice short-term solutions… Say, two years? Easy to move, with those contracts. Good signing by the Wings and Caps. Sceviour for $950K? Another good signing by the Panthers. Smith-Pelly for 1.3mill. Good on the Devils. But we were lookinh gor someone long-term. “Win now” seems like Burke’s call.

    BT and Burke have yet to wow this fan, when it comes to free agency. And we lost Colborne for nothing.

    Will we sign Nakladal? Jooris?? The Oilers should pounce on Nakladal.

    As for Brouwer, welcome to Calgary. Here’s hoping your numbers stay steady. Caps fans loved him, by the way. So did Blues fans. Here’s hoping we can embrace him, as well.

    It’s not my money – I’m glad he’s here. And the fact he wants to be here, wants to live in our city… I think he’ll play well for us. (Colborne’s spot w/Backlund and Frolik is Ferland’s. If Colborne was suppose to be on the 2nd line, Shinkaruk may have convinced the staff he’s a better player to take a chance on.)

      • cberg

        Stats are only a small part of what a player contributes to a team, so ideally you would look at all aspects. Practically lots of things matter beyond stats, but are not measurable by standard stats so that isn’t easy to uncover. As a stats site it would be nice, and expected that the writers be able, and willing to dig a bit deeper than a few summary stats line charts (e.g. Comment #5) but alas that rarely happens. The superficial (should I say lazy?) analyses is what is frustrating, but we have come to expect that. Hopefully over the next few years that will greatly improve so we get a more balanced perspective.

        Now, Trash away, nothing else is expected.

        • Nick24

          As in the stats for events that haven’t happened yet? Why would his numbers be so drastically different in Calgary compared to St. Louis or Washington?

          But either way, we’re still talking about stats.

          • Kevin R

            I think maybe my position is more that conclusions about the player, the decision to sign him & the decision to walk away from Colborne are presumptuous & inconsistent. A guy that you can chalk in 20 goals per year & has consistently performed that the last 7 years is a bonafide 2nd line winger. Colborne is not a bonafide 2nd line forward. You can analyze all these numbers till the cows come home but I’ll reserve my opinion when I see him play in a Flames uniform. To me we just acquired a 20 goal scoring RW & did not have to give up any assets. That’s my opinion & there is a reason they play the games.

    • cberg

      Yes, disgusting. Not even four hours since the signing and the geniuses at FN lining up to run the guy out of town, while boosting Joe Colborne whom they’ve spent the last two years tearing down. Pathetic!

      • WildfireOne

        I don’t think it’s a matter of boosting Big and Local. It’s more like, “EVEN Joe Colborne, who we already don’t like, was better than Brouwer…” So it’s more of an indictment of Brouwer than a boost to Joe.

        If this overpayment means we don’t sign Nakladal, I really don’t like it.

    • DangleSnipeCelly

      Not pointing fingers at anyone in particular but July 1st is the day to mute the analytics follows in your Twitter feed. I’m on board with advanced stats, I really am but I don’t think you can apply them to every spot on your roster. We’re trying to build a team here. Math is legit but so is psychology.

      • mattyc

        I’d suggest to you that building a team is exactly when you want to rely on predictive stats. Corsi doesn’t do a great job of telling you who will win the next game, but it’s really good at telling you who will help you win more over the long run… Psychology can be a good tie-breaker (all things even you want the good guys on your side), but even then, I’m skeptical it can be evaluated effectively. Chasing intangible (ephemeral) attributes is a fools errand, and doesn’t seem to work out any more often than random chance.

        As for Brouwer; the big picture is he’s a pretty good player (likely high-end 3rd liner, low-end 2nd liner). His possession game is pretty mediocre, but part of that is due to his tough circumstances (lots of starts in the defensive zone). His goal stats are great, but likely partially due to getting to play in Washington and St. Louis. He’s certainly a good bet to be better than Colborne next year, and will probably get 40 points.

        The issue is the cost (and more so the term) and age. We’ve committed to paying him $4.5M at 34-35. Maybe his value is in line with his performance next year, but it’s not a great bet to be anywhere close to full value at 34.

        • Truculence

          Brouwer’s contract is up before he hits 35. His skating isn’t an issue like some power forwards (Lucic), so he is probably a good bet to be still producing at age 34. The question is, will his salary and roster spot prohibit the Flames from advancing a better option on RW a few years from now? Who knows. We’ll cross that bridge if we ever get there.