FlamesNation player evaluation: TJ Brodie

If there’s one established Calgary Flames player that fans are a bit iffy on after this season, it’s TJ Brodie. From an underlying numbers standpoint he had perhaps the best season of his career, but suddenly it seems like he may be the easiest regular to replace.

2018-19 season summary

For the second consecutive season, Brodie spent almost the entire time playing top pairing minutes alongside Mark Giordano. But by the end of the season, cracks seemed to appear in the foundation – at least in terms of how he was used.

Games played Goals Assists Points TOI/GP 5v5 CF% 5v5 CF% rel OZS% PDO
79 9 25 34 21:28 55.79 +2.85 51.13 1.013

Brodie didn’t set career highs this season, but approached a few. Nine goals was the second-most he ever had, as was 22 five-on-five points, while 34 points was pretty much in the general range of production he’s established for himself. He played first pairing at even strength and was a fixture on the second power play unit, though he never really got much penalty killing time.

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His deployments changed a bit down the stretch in two ways, though:

  • Brodie was occasionally dropped to the left side of the third pairing to play with Dalton Prout, with Rasmus Andersson playing with Giordano on the top pairing.
  • Andersson joined Brodie on the second power play unit.

Those observers with long memories will vividly recall Brodie’s occasional puck-handling gaffes or defensive bobbles, particularly late in the second. Despite these rough spots, though, he had a strong statistical season relative to the rest of the team – and he ended up with the best Corsi For percentage of his entire career.

He was consistently top four in every shot generation rate – shot attempts, shots, scoring chances and high danger chances, and top three in shot suppression rates. Some of that is definitely because he plays with Giordano – who had a monster season – but Brodie definitely performed consistently well.

Compared to last season

Brodie played roughly the same amount as he did in 2017-18, was deployed in roughly the same way and played with roughly the same teammates. His offensive numbers were up, as were most of the team’s, but his game took off in a more general sense, too.

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Pretty much across the board, Brodie saw his shot generation rates make an uptick from the season prior while his shot suppression numbers similarly improved. He was a little bit better almost across the board and, combined with Giordano’s impressive season in all areas, it helped elevate Brodie even further.

What about next season?

Despite the uptick of his underlying numbers, Brodie is what he is at this point. He’s a smooth-skating, puck-moving defender. He’s prone to occasional lapses and bobbles, and while he can be criticized for his lack of offensive killer instinct compared to some other blueliners on the team he always manages to get roughly the same amount of points, shots, scoring chances, and so on. Barring a significant injury, he can probably be counted on for roughly the same type of performance in 2019-20.

It’s precisely this reliability that makes him such an attractive trade commodity. Andersson is 22 and is going to get better, while Brodie is what he is at this point. The Flames would know precisely what they’re giving up, while their potential trade partner would know essentially what type of player they would be getting.

If Brodie’s back with the Flames, he’ll probably be playing top pairing minutes with Giordano once again. But considering that he’s entering the last year of his contract, that there’s both a looming expansion draft in two years and there’s an obvious internal candidate for his spot, the stars are aligning for him to potentially be somewhere else when the puck drops in October.

2018-19 player evaluations

#4 Rasmus Andersson | #5 Mark Giordano

  • Jimmyhaggis

    Brodie is one of the softies that should be traded, lot’s of guy’s ready to step it up. The team has other smooth skating defenceman. More grit needed like Hamonic and Andersson.
    These playoffs have shown you need speed and toughness and the deeper you go the tougher it gets.

    • The Beej

      His problem isnt softness. Its the giveaways. Many times there were huge periods of time against the Avs where we were running around in our own end. The guys are gassed and thus appear soft… but you eliminate the giveaway that led to the whole sequence and you dont have these problems.

      The problem with the team isnt softness (well maybe a little mental softness)… we lost because of tentative play and giveaways. Grit and hitting wont solve that.

      That said it is time to move TJ and get some value back while clearing that cap space.

      But the folks that think this team is soft and that the solution is to move talent for pluggers and grinders are way off. You havent even correclty identified the problem and that wont fix it. Look at the numbers. They hammered us in possession and chances. We out hit them.

      It was giveaways… backing off and letting them have the puck that killed us. Pure and simple. Its all in the numbers.

      • Porcupine at a balloon party

        Can’t cheers this enough. I personally don’t want to see Brodie go, he’s been a favorite of mine for years. Yes he’s made some very noticeable bad plays, but I think there’s some confirmation bias and bad luck in sense that one mistake ends up in back of net everytime.

        I see the writing on the wall for him to be traded though. Standard 1st and 2 seconds or equivalent player/prospect package see a about right. He might be on the higher end of that. His numbers suggest he’s a much better player than a few gaffes that the fans pick up on

      • SeanCharles

        Amen Brother!

        Glad everyone isn’t blindly passing judgement on this team.

        The amount of times I’ve heard Johnny is too small for playoff hockey and should be traded has driven me near mad. His issue was execution, if he wasn’t cut out for playoff hockey he wouldn’t have generated as many offensive opportunities as he did.

        The team played like they did in 2004’s SCF game 7: scared to lose, tentative, playing the complete opposite way they played in order to get to where they did.

        This rests on the players and the coach because I do think Peters got out coached.

        Let them come back next year and prove they are mentally stronger from it, add to the group instead of dismantling it.

        – The Presidents Trophy winners, who set NHL regular season records, got embarrassingly swept.
        – The Cup Champs from 2 out of the last 3 years got embarrassingly swept and the team that did it to them got embarrassingly swept the following round.
        – All 4 division winners and last years Champs got eliminated in round 1.

        It was a 1st round for the ages and even though we [email protected] the bed I still like our chances as a team moving forward.

        Gaudreau, Monahan, Lindholm, Tkachuk, Bennett, Manigapane, Dube, Hanifin, Andersson, Valimaki, Kylington and Rittich are all young pieces that should be part of the solution here. Gio, Hamonic, Ryan and Backlund are solid vets to help round out the group .

  • freethe flames

    Tj giveth and TJ taketh away, TJ the good and TJ the bad. There we nights when he was the best defencman on the ice and other nights when he was the worse defender on the ice. It is time to move on from TJ. He should be moved to add a player who can play in the top 6; preferably a RHS guy who can take face offs. This player does not have to be elite but has to be able to play up the line up and brings some speed, energy and edge to the top 6. I love TJ the good but we need to move on from TJ the bad.

    • Hard Dump in the Corner

      Every player has flaws but TJ’s talents make him tradeable only because of a crowded and younger depth chart below him. Time for the Flames to acquire assets to address other issues on the team – like size and speed.

  • Garry T

    Tkachuk is the fox in the chicken coop. If Tkachuk is signed long term for 6,7,8 million, you need to down load two, possibly 3 good players to accommodate Tkachuk. Give him that contract and every top six forward and top 4 D is going to want mega bucks and that just FFFs things up all around. Give TKachuck a $4.5 million 3 year bridge deal to sort him out. By
    doing this, you give yourself the time to ensure you make calculated deals that bring you back strong returns to recalibrate the team.

    • Luter 1

      If there is a guy to try to do a bridge deal it’s MT because we still don’t know quite what we have. A 30+goal a year future leader or a disturber that can score on the PP but can’t skate an d disappears when we get in the playoffs. Probably a little of both but not a superstar that deserves huge dollars, especially because of his skating

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        You can bean elite player in this league with average skating…just look at Mark Stone. Everyone who has ever watched Tkachuk skate knows he needs improvement. I expect his team of handlers will move heaven and earth to address this weakness. As the league gets faster there becomes more demand for skating experts. Fortunately the science behind the techniques continues to advance at a rapid level.

        • Hockeysense9393

          This was a knock with Tavares in his early years, so he focused his training. You know MT (and the Flames) are gonna be doing everything possible to get him the right training. It sounds like they are doing that for Neal too. Might as well spend money to help these multi-million dollar investments right? Someone like MT has been around hockey all his life. He has advisers like his father to help him with development. The Flames are known for using internal pieces to better their players like developmental gurus.

  • The Flaming C

    It’s time to get away from Brodie, he’s served his purpose. Either as a cap dump for high round picks so we can target a big money free agent or for a top 6 winger. I would target Johnson or Kapanen on the Leafs if you went to top 6 winger route

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      I completely agree….Kappanen would be a good target. He has elite speed and good finishing ability. He instantly makes us faster and more dangerous.

      I believe Brodie can help us secure a first round draft pick which we should explore. He has a cap friendly contract, he is on the right side of 30, and more importantly his skating is likely not going to disappear anytime soon.
      He is easily our best trade chip that is easily replaceable. If we can’t land Kappanen I would target Hoffman for the top 6.

  • buts

    Warrener on the fan said it best “the sweeper”. The guy is an amazing skater but doesn’t hit, gets knocked off the puck, constantly loses his man while watching the puck and has no killer instinct offensively, he has the talent to win the Norris. He should bring a big return as his contract is friendly, he can play top 4 minutes and is under 30.

  • HAL MacInnis

    The Flames need to trade for forward depth. They have huge defensive depth right now. At least one of our defencemen will be moved; it’s a prudent business decision. If it’s not TJ, I don’t know who would garner a better return… or be able to sweeten a Neal ousting.


    Question to those who want to bite, how do you salvage the Gaudreau / Monahan duo? Lindholm has the finesse, but the three of them can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag. When all the teams started fighting for playoff positions, those guys faded away. Ferland was tough and fast enough, but he didn’t quite have the skill to keep up. If you can’t keep Johnny and Sean together, do you trade them together? …or do you create lines to separate them? …or do we keep the status quo and tweak everything around them?

    • Justthateasy

      Trade Monahan. Softer than cheese on a stick of celery.
      Even though Johnny is tiny he is still a tourist attraction. He actually did more hitting than Monahan during the playoffs.

      • Flaming Duck

        Take Johnny away from Monahan and I would be shocked if Monahan averaged 15-20 goals. It is Johnny who probably is directly responsible for at least doubling Monahan’’s point production. I personally would trade Monahan as he is to soft, slow, and overrated. Another thought, if we don’t trade him what about Lindholm at centre and Monahan on right wing and Johnny on left wing?

    • meat1

      I say split them up. Gaudreau is a first line left winger who just needs to quit acting like such a wimp out there. Monahan is not a #1 center…he is a second line pivot. Our problem isn’t finding a left winger for Monahan (Byng) as much as finding a center for Johnny.

      • meat1

        I’d like to see some form of a Kapanen for Brodie trade. And at this point I don’t see how Neal is tradeable….so UNFORTUNATELY I think we need to let him try to regain something…hell anything lol next season to either make his spot in the lineup useful OR to create any trade value. I honestly don’t think a team would give you a seventh round pick three drafts from now for Neal’s services.

      • Loud_voices

        Monahan is definitely a first line center…. Your opinion about him doesn’t change the fact He was 12th in points by centers and 14th in goals. He’s proved hes easily a #1. I never liked Monahan because he was boring and I didn’t think he was that great of a center but then I read a breakdown of his stats and the comparisons to other players from his draft and drafts since and he was at the top of the list. It actually surprised me to see that Monahan had quietly snuck into elite status. Hes almost maintained a 30 goal scoring pace 5 years straight (he hit 27 twice in that frame). Monahan got drafted in 2013 when there was so many good centers in the same draft…. MacKinnon went first, Barkov 2nd, Lindholm 5th. And Monahan went 6th. All really good centers Who do you think has the most goals out of all those centers? If you were thinking MacKinnon or possibly Barkov I would tell you your wrong.. it’s Monahan.
        He definitely has his ups and downs and injury worries but he his undoubtedly a #1 center.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      Personally, I would do what I could to trade for Tom Wilson. There is no line in the league that needs that player as much as our top line. He is big, mean, skilled and did I say mean. He is perfect age and plays Right wing and could even entice Johnny to r-sign. Just imagine a player taking liberties with Johnny and Monny with this beast on the wing. What would it cost and are there any other players that could fit this role effectively? If we want to keep the dynamic duo together this is what is required.

      • supra steve

        Monahan is by no means a perfect NHL C, I wish we had another option for #1C (Lindholm?), because Mony would be better suited as a #2C. As soon as he is traded, we would be wishing we had someone a lot like him to fill a hole in the lineup. 172 goals in 6 NHL seasons says that your comment is very uninformed, if not something much worse.

      • Em Durp Em Hrudey

        Worse than Backlund…..I think not good sir. Backlund is Monkey piss. This article is about TJ…..TJ should be in T.O. I personally like some of the proposed trades on here. Still need Chris Kreider though.

  • ngthagg

    Now is definitely the time to trade Brodie. He’s playing at his peak, which means his return will be highest. Even better, we can replace him internally, which means we can take prospects and picks in return, instead of trading player for player. The biggest problem is that everyone else knows this too. But this isn’t a big problem, there’s sure to be a chump out there willing to pay big for a top pairing defender likely to decline starting in the next few years.

  • Franko J

    I will be very surprised if he is in a Flames uniform come next season. Probably both the player and the organization has come to the conclusion that a change of scenery is the best thing going forward. Which teams in the NHL could benefit from having him in their lineup? Personally I think if or when BT trades Brodie it is an absolute he is able to maximize on a deal? I would like to see a forward / pick scenario.

    Ideally and never going to happen: Brodie and whatever to MTL for Gallagher and whatever.

    • freethe flames

      I doubt the Habs move Gallagher but as someone else mentioned how about Shaw and Amira(someone I mentioned) for Brodie. The problem is that we all want the player to come back to be a home run but I would be more than satisfied with it being a package of guys who can play throughout the line up.

  • Willi P

    Mr Pike states “For the second consecutive season, Brodie spent almost the entire time playing top pairing minutes alongside Mark Giordano”

    and then states “Brodie played roughly the same amount as he did in 2017-18, was deployed in roughly the same way and played with roughly the same teammates”

    Do I live in a different universe because in my world, Brodie has not played on the top pair or with Giordano last season or the one previous to that?

  • Puck Head

    I thought that the Brodie evaluation article would get more comments than this. I think most of us are expecting him to be dealt, and dealing him won’t leave a hole in our lineup. If he’s traded for picks I’ll be dumbfounded if we can get a 1st and two 2nds for him (Tre got bent over in the Hamonic trade). I would be beyond thrilled to have 3 high end picks for him, which we could use for prospects are parlay them into a top 6 forward.

  • Garry T

    There is tremendous angst on this site. What is causing that angst? Why all of a sudden are we moving Johnny, Monny, Frolik, Brodie, Kylington and Backlund. Two reasons, 1.we got knocked out of the playoffs in 5 games. 2. We did not have 4 hockey principles to compete against 1. A big, 2.Leader driven, 3. pack mentality commitment that employed a 4. Hard to play a shut down , turn over related system. Essentially size, phenomenal team leader who put his mates on his back, full commitment from 22 other guys plus a coaching staff who rendered our players and team into a helpless run around non-performing group whipped us.

    We were at best a poor resemblance of our in season team and their energy caught us off guard.

    How do we fix that.

    1. Acquire picks and ensure every pick 1-7 or plus has size, skill,
    determination and leadership skills.
    2. While improving our AHL system and growing our numbers in the ECHL,
    we make calculated moves by saying we need to build around this group
    of guys. You might have to give up a Kylington or a Brodie or an
    Anderson on defence. You might have to give up a Johnny, Monny, Fro or
    Backs on forward to move forward. To do that, Tre has to choose 12
    centres, 12 left wingers and 12 right wingers and grade them from 1-12.
    Who do we add or move to Center on our 1,2nd, 3rd. And 4th. Lines.
    Same thing for the wings. What hockey trades can we pull off to our
    advantage. He has to try to get us a top center, maybe 2. He has to go through the winger lists and do the same.

    The end run will have to be 4 extremely good, committed lines. One of
    our guys has to find that leadership in him and drive this team. It has to
    be a forward. If we have to go out and get him, do it.

    Before anyone says we do not have the assets to do that. Know that we
    do. Know that we are going to wind up with a new team. But you are the
    ones speaking to improve the team. When you start to make changes,
    there can only be positive or negative re-actions to our actions. Think
    about it.

  • Flamesforever

    Honestly I’ve never liked Brodie as a player, I mean I do recognize he has talent.. but he is so unbelievably soft it drives me crazy, I mean would it kill him to be more assertive on the ice? How many times this year did he pass on wide open looks? I think we need to cleanse this team of Brodie and Frolik. We need a Josh Anderson type guy as far as I’m concerned. Somebody to give the guys more confidence when they go to war in the playoffs.

    • Garry T

      Flames Forever – Brodie and Frolik. We are recognized as having one of the best shut down lines in the NHL. Frolik is the most valuable player on that line. He is the hardest working, best skating and the smartest of the 3. When you read these blogs the impetus is to dump Frolik for his cost of Cap. You might fix a hole somewhere in the lineup moving him but you create another. Frankly, I would keep him.

      Brodie ….. has some wonderful playing attributes that are critically important to the Flames when he is “ On “. However he also has the following demerit areas to correct. They are:
      1. He does not skate back hard for puck control and is afraid to go into the corners on an offensive shoot in into ourZone. Losing the puck results in goals against.
      2. He will not pick up a man and tends to allow offensive players to get behind him and those players score often.
      3. He will not clear a man in the blue paint or close in to our net
      4. He farts a lot with his brain and gives dangerous opportunities to the opposition.
      5. His inability to fire the puck out with authority or rim the boards leaves a lot to be desired.
      6. His unwillingness to take charge of his blue line and plaster incoming players is dangerous.
      7…… after all those comments, I have changed my own mind for myself.
      We should trade him for a mid first and two seconds plus the other teams top prospect!

      • SeanCharles

        There are a few issues with keeping Frolik:

        – He is not happy playing under Peters and seems like he wants out
        – He is a impending UFA and given the first point he is unlikely to re-sign so we would lose him for nothing
        – We have an abundance of left shooting wingers that all should get/will be vying for top 9 minutes: Gaudreau, Tkachuk, Bennett, Mangiapane, Dube to name a few. We also have Neal. I don’t know about you but I would prefer to have more than 1 RH shot in our top 9 (Lindholm). The first 5 names I listed are more important to this teams long-term success so if we want to add RHed shots to the group we have to make some sacrifices.

  • Flaming Duck

    Redundant on Flames. Sell when value at a high (see Travis Hamonic trade for example), would help with cap squeeze, would help with bodies needing protection in expansion draft, could help provide method to alleviate other team shortcomings(e.g. trade him for a right winger for top lines); and lastly would make me happy as I am tired of his ill timed brain farts.

  • super6646

    Andersson is not a top pairing dman and hamonic was our worst dman in the playoffs. Seems like the entire fanbase wants him gone, but who the heck is replacing those minutes? What about the talk from peters about getting faster? Looks pretty stupid if you trade your fastest dman and have one of the slowest right sides with major question marks heading into next year tbh.

    • SeanCharles

      I think we need to trade him..

      We have young guys that need NHL icetime to keep improving and despite his age Gio is here for the foreseeable future as well.

      This puts you in a position where it essentially then becomes a choice between Brodie and Hamonic.

      If we move Hamonic then we essentially have the same problem we do up front: too many left-handed shots and not enough right-handed guys.

      Brodie also has a similar skill set to Kylington, Hanifin and in some ways Valimaki.

      To everyone saying Hamonic was our worst dman in the playoffs: Who can we say played well out of the whole team? Bennett? Smith? Valimaki? Andersson at times? Mangiapane at times? The list is short and Brodie didn’t do very good in his own right and he is a speedy, agile guy. Hamonic didnt suck because he is slower and grittier..

      The whole team save 3 guys sucked the majority of the series.