The Calgary Flames have made their first move of 2018’s deadline day. They’ve claimed forward Chris Stewart off the waiver wire from the Minnesota Wild. He’s a 30-year-old right-shot forward who plays both wings and carries a cap hit of $1.15 million through the remainder of this season, after which he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.
Originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche back in 2006, Stewart’s bounced around a bit while playing a utility role on several teams (including St. Louis, Buffalo, Anaheim and the Wild). He’s versatile, but arguably somewhat limited offensively. He had a 64-point season with Colorado way, way back in 2009-10, but since then has been a fairly consistent 20-30 point player.
It’s a low-risk move for the Flames. They gain some depth and some different options for their bottom six in the form of a guy that’s big, physical and can play either wing, but probably doesn’t bring significantly more offense than whoever he’d be displacing when he’s in the lineup. His possession numbers aren’t great, but he’ll be spending his time starting in the defensive zone anyway so it’s not a huge detriment in the grand scheme of things.
The waiver claim pushes the Flames’ active contracts to 48 (of the limit of 50).