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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames sign minor league tough guy Luke Gazdic

After the “frenzy” of activity yesterday, the Calgary Flames have made another minor move with some likely minor league implications. The club announced that they’ve signed left wing Luke Gazdic, formerly of the Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils organizations, to a one-year, two-way contract.

Gazdic, 27, was likely brought in for a pretty simple reason. He’s a minor league veteran with some NHL experience, but he’s probably going to be around for AHL depth. Here’s a breakdown of the relevant statistics for the Ontario native:

  • 147 NHL games with Edmonton and New Jersey (206 penalty minutes, 8 points)
  • 309 AHL games with Texas, Oklahoma City, Bakersfield and Albany (523 penalty minutes, 67 points)
  • 6 ECHL games with Idaho (24 penalty minutes, 3 points)

The Stockton Heat have likely lost Brandon Bollig (who’s a free agent now) and Jamie Devane (who signed an AHL deal with the Ontario Reign). With the Heat carrying some smaller skilled players and the other AHL Pacific Division teams carrying some heavy bodies, the Flames bringing in a veteran to chaperone on the farm is a pretty logical move.

For those of you worried that Gazdic might squeeze his way onto the NHL roster, here’s a question: where would he fit? The Flames are bringing back the majority of their forward group from last season and with players like Mark Jankowski and Spencer Foo pushing for jobs, it’s unlikely that Gazdic will factor into plans for the big club in any significant way.

  • DoubleDIon

    Meh, file it under I don’t care too much. As long as the coaching staff doesn’t overuse him. I worry about our development system. It doesn’t seem to develop anyone.

    • Connor'sGotHart,Ross,Lindsay!

      He’s a hell of a fighter and teammate and if he plays in the minors they need those types of players too and he would instantly be the toughest in your organization.

    • Puckhead

      Versteeg and Gaudreau were the only guys on the roster who were under 6′ last season. Plus Versteeg was dynamite against the big bad Ducks in the post season. The smaller player argument doesn’t hold much weight.

      • Trevy

        Just because we have a lot of players 6′ or taller means nothing if they’re not the physical types. With Engelland gone, we have no one to step up except Ferland or even Bennett. Those aren’t the players that should be protecting our stars. We needed someone to keep the goons of the north from taking liberties. My only beef, pardon the pun, is the should of maybe went after a Dwight King. Someone who has a bit of skill as well

        • Puckhead

          I know, but I’m just saying that people always refer to it as a size issue when it is not. Ideally a 4th line comprised of Hathaway, Lomberg and a more skilled but edgy player would be entertaining. A 4th line that grinds down the opposition.

          • McRib

            LA is the only team to win a Stanley Cup in the last at least decade (to lazy to look futher) to be listed as one of the Top. 10 biggest rosters by height in the NHL. Chicago, Pittsburgh, etc all have been in the smallest third of NHL teams by size. Washington was the only team in the Top. 7 biggest teams in the league last year to even win a playoff series (Winnipeg, LA, Vancouver, Calgary, Colorado, Dallas were the other six). If anything smaller teams have a larger correlation of winning the Stanley Cup.

          • Trevy

            Stone and Brouwer!? Good one…. Bennett scraps more than both of them combined! I’m not saying Gazdic is a good pick up, just that we need even someone like Hathaway who can wear some teams down and stand up for our star players

          • Connor'sGotHart,Ross,Lindsay!

            Compare that tough of Lucic, Nurse,Kassian,and Maroon and you’ll see the difference.
            Edmonton was pushed around for years but not any more.
            Having a guy like Gazdic on your team makes a big difference.Better yet if you can find another like Ferland , a guy with size that can play.

      • Connor'sGotHart,Ross,Lindsay!

        About the smaller player you’re correct but they were pushed around last year. There were many times last season where your better players were getting pushed around and there was no retaliation.

  • McRib

    “The Flames just can’t afford to have useless players under contract like Ryan Murphy and Stepan Falkovsky, we got to clear those bad contracts out to make room for stud forwards like Luke Gazdic and Marek Hrivik.”

    Said by Brian Burke to Brad Treliving early this week.

    • Torchy

      Give it a rest. It is not as if Treliving has been slacking off, and just because there is no news on things you think are more important doesn’t mean that no work being done. What does a guy have to do in a 2-week stretch to earn the benefit of the doubt?