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TJ Brodie suddenly very important on Calgary’s blueline

A trade involving TJ Brodie seemed a formality when the Flames kicked off their offseason. But, almost four full months into Calgary’s summer, Brodie remains a member of the team and the likelihood of dealing him seems much less as August begins. In fact, with training camp just over a month away, Brodie’s role feels a whole lot more important now than it did when things wrapped up in April.

The right side

With Michael Stone’s buyout made official late last week, the Flames are left with just two natural right shot defenders with NHL experience: Travis Hamonic and Rasmus Andersson. Even though he actually shoots left, we’ll lump Brodie into the right side conversation, too; as we know, he’s somewhat of an anomaly preferring to play on the off side. That leaves Calgary with a blueline depth chart looking something like below.

Left D Right D
Mark Giordano Travis Hamonic
Noah Hanifin TJ Brodie
Juuso Valimaki Rasmus Andersson
Oliver Kylington
Brandon Davidson
Rinat Valiev

Head coach Bill Peters is on the record with his preference for a left and right shot on each pair, which technically won’t be possible with the current roster. However, Peters is also fine playing Brodie on the right, which gives him three pairings that fit the bill. But what if someone gets injured?

Brodie’s role

With Stone no longer in the fold, the Flames have a little less of a cushion on the right side. Say what you want about Stone’s contract, but he was still an NHL defender and gave the team nice flexibility. The buyout had to happen, but it definitely puts more pressure on the remaining players on that side. All of a sudden, Brodie’s ability to eat big minutes and play up and down the depth chart becomes far more important.

Mark Giordano-Rasmus Andersson
Noah Hanifin-Travis Hamonic
Juuso Valimaki-TJ Brodie

The alignment above is how most believe Calgary will start the season on the back, injuries not withstanding. Considering Hamonic has never played more than 74 games in a season, though, there’s a solid chance Brodie will have to play an elevated role if indeed he starts on the third pair.

Furthermore, as high as I am on Andersson, he has very limited experience playing top pairing minutes. As much as I think that’s where he’ll be for the bulk of his career, a few growing pains this year wouldn’t be unheard of. If that’s the case, Peters always has the ability to move Brodie back up with Giordano.

Brodie has had his struggles over the last three seasons, but as frustrated as he might make you, he still belongs in the NHL. At this stage, I don’t think Brodie is best used on the top pair, but he provides the Flames with versatility. Brodie can still log big minutes and can play up and down the lineup; if he’s in Calgary to start the season, he’ll present the team with options.

Is a trade still possible?

TJ Brodie

Of course it is. With Matthew Tkachuk unsigned, the Flames are still actively trying to move out money. We already know Brodie was close to being part of a Nazem Kadri deal earlier this summer, so if Calgary were to move him between now and October, it won’t be a stunner. From a competitive standpoint, though, it’s no longer as attractive a proposition.

Right now, the best case if they were to trade Brodie would see the Flames get a cheaper right shot in return. I question how realistic that is, but if Calgary could bring in a d-man with NHL experience to play the right while still saving money, I think they’d jump at the chance.

A more realistic scenario could see the Flames move Brodie for a more nominal return (a mid-round draft pick, perhaps) while eating part of his salary. Of course, this would leave Calgary in a spot where they’d have to use two left shots on a third pair, which isn’t ideal. As a colleague of mine passed along, though, it’s better than not signing Tkachuk.

At this stage, I believe the chances the Flames move Brodie are significantly lower than they were in April, May, or June. As such, there’s a good chance he’s on the roster to start the season on an expiring contract. If that’s the case, his role on Calgary’s blueline looks to be far more crucial than we might have thought a few months ago.



      • Raffydog

        Sounds like you should try being into school a little bit more. Btw, it’s ridiculous, not rediculous. Good grief, my phone wont even let me type that wrong on purpose.

        • SeanCharles

          Yea I agree and I’ve heard rumors of the Flames being interested in a guy like Petrovic who is a RHed depth dman.

          We also signed Yelesin out of the KHL who is RHed.

          Gio-Andersson
          Hanifin-Hamonic
          Valimaki-Kylington
          Petrovic

          Davidson-Yelesin

          It would be foolish to lose Brodie for nothing next offseason IMO given how many assets we have sent out to improve the team, we should look at the bigger picture and move Brodie now.

          • WoodrowWilson

            Pretty sure the Petrovic rumours were started by Jim Matheson who claims he saw him at a golf tournament in Edmonton. I wouldn’t put any stock in with Jim has to say other than for its comedic value (Hilarious twitter follow, for anyone who could use a little comedic relief).

            Not sure Petrovic would my first choice for RHD depth. Guy could barely crack the Oilers lineup last year.

          • Beer League Coach

            I assumed you would trade Brodie for a top 6 RW. Also, Hanifin played on R side in Carolina occasionally, not full time RD. He and Kylington could flip back and forth as well.

          • Beer League Coach

            Yelesin is an interesting prospect. KHL all star last season. I expect he will start in Stockton to acclimatize to the North American game. If all goes well he could be in Calgary by Christmas. This could open up lots of possibilities for BT to trade from strength to improve forwards and/or pick up some draft picks for the future. Just hope that BT and Pascall can bring in enough quality D-men to give the Heat a quality defense core in the AHL. They deserve a much better D than we gave them last season.

    • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

      Travis Hamonic had a Corsi For of 38.46% in the playoffs to go along with 0 Points in 5 GP. TJ Brodie had a 44.13% and had 2 Goals in 5 GP.

      I really don’t understand why TJ Brodie takes so much heat here when Hamonic literally gets exposed horribly by faster teams every game because he has an awful pivot and zero startup speed. Teams just blow past Hamonic all game and he gets applauded because he never has a gleaming error, which is fairly easy when you never have the puck and teams just walk around you all game.

      • CowboyBob

        Hamonic – body on body guy, looks to separate you from the puck using his body. TJ – stick on stick guy, looks to knock the puck off your stick and rarely make body contact. Hamonic played mostly against Avs top line, Brodie played against Avs third and fourth lines.

        • super6646

          Yes, he spent 4/5 games on the top pairing yet played crappy competition.

          Look at the game 5 logs when Hanifin and hamonic got demoted to third pairing minutes and still sucked wind. Peters saw the problem, even if it was too little too late.

      • super6646

        Ding ding ding ding ding!

        Look, I love hammer and his character, but the flames need to be careful straying that road again. Made he same mistakes with Brouwer and Neal going for character players who were meh skaters and were showing decline in play. I don’t think it should be a given that hammer stays over Brodie, regardless of the price tre paid.

    • cjc

      That’s interesting, as Brodie had two goals against Colorado, and has 11 points in 20 playoff games to go with a plus 1 rating. Not sure that puts him in bust territory.

      • Albertabeef

        Yep and Brodie was only on the ice for 4 goals against in 5 games. Gio and Hamonic were on the ice for 10 goals against in 5 games(really 4 games cause first one was a shutout for Smith). But everybody hates Brodie lol. I just don’t understand the hate. Sure he gives the puck away, Johnny gives it away more. Brodie and Engelland also lead this team in that series against Van when Gio awas injured. He also paired Gio to two Norris nominations with one win. I just can’t hate that smooth skating SOB!

        • BringtheFire 2.0

          For anyone interested, in 2018-19 Brodie had 100 giveaways, Gio had 65, Hanifin had 87, and Johnny had 124 (but he’s a forward, so I’m not sure he should be in this comparison of d-men), and Hamonic had 62. In the playoffs those numbers were, respectively, 8, 2, 1, 5 and 4.

          • Albertabeef

            Okay yes he gives it away lots, 8th highest in the league among Dmen. Would you prefer Brent Burns giving it away 118 times? But I still like Team Goals Against, and considering how many giveaways Brodie has he sits tied with Hanifin(and Jordie Benn) at 65th and 66th in the league in that stat. Team goals against tells you how many goals the player was on the ice for, I think for Dmen it one of the most telling of stats. Again compare Brodie’s 79 team goals against to Burn’s 106. I like Brodie, and nobody is perfect.

          • cjc

            Giveaways are a pretty misleading stat. If you look at the leaderboard, it’s always star players, talented players in the lead. That’s because they have the puck more often

  • Theo/14

    Like TSN just reported this morning. Trelivings buyouts are making it hard for the flames to even be considered a true contender anymore. GM’s try to make teams better. It can’t happen when you are wasting cap space in an already tight area. Everyone including the writers on here wanted Brodie gone. Now he’s important to this team. He is a lot like Monohan and Johnny. They are not built for playoff hockey. At least we got looooooch tho cause he is built for playoff hockey!!

      • Beer League Coach

        Monny and Johnny to Philly for Couturier and Konecny. Might need to add prospects or draft picks either way. Johnny still would like to play for his boyhood idol team, the Flyers, but they also need cap space to sign Provorov. Maybe Flames retain $2mm of salary for Johnny and do the deal straight up 2 for 2. Flyers get more offense and Johnny gets re-united with college line mate Kevin Hayes. Flames give up a bit on offense but gain that and more from 2 players who play a 200 ft game and are much better defensively. Flames would also gain some cap space and re-sign Matty and Mangi. Coots would go on line 1 with Tkachuk and Lindholm. Backs with get Mangi and Konecny on his wings.

        • JeraldinChapparal

          Philly signing Hayes looks like an overpay now, but it could pay off if he’s still there when Johnny becomes a UFA. Flames aren’t trading 13 and 23. Johnny is already iconic in the city.

          • Beer League Coach

            Any body can be traded. Nobody is irreplaceable. Even Gretzky was traded a couple of times. Having said that I would trade Johnny if the return is good and is what the Flames need to round out their roster. He should not be traded just to clear cap space.

        • Budgie

          That would clear some Cap Space-Coutier for Johnny if they include Myers the undrafted big Defenseman, Philly has some good prospects too. R hand shot Myers who Calgary let walk away from the Development Camp

          • Beer League Coach

            I included Monny because the two of them like playing together and Konecny is the type of RW that Flames need badly. Solid physical RH shot who plays a 200 ft game. All 4 of them are within a year or 2 in age. I only mentioned retained salary because Philly would need cap space to sign Provorov and would not do the deal without gaining that cap space. I put the salary retention on Johnny because you retain salary for the length of the contract; not just for 1 year. Johnny’s contract expires 1 year before Monny. I also like the idea of Myers to Flames. Being a RH Dman we could then move Brodie to Detroit for picks and/or prospects. Win win situation for all concerned.

            Another thing, if we deal with Detroit is we could take back the contract of Zetterberg or Franzen. Both are owed $1mm in actual salary. Zetterberg cap hit is just over $6mm for next 2 years and Franzen is almost $4mm for 1 year. If we sign Tkachuk long term we could use LTIR to get the contract done with Matty. If we don’t have injuries and are still cap compliant we have a cushion, in case of future injuries, so the “wasted” LTIR is still worth the salary we would have to pay to one of those Red Wings dead contracts.

        • Garry T

          For Johnny, who would be the player on his arrival, who would generate $30,000,000 in Jersey sales and top up seats to fill the rink, you ask for both of those guys. Monny you trade tp Ottawa and get prospects and picks. He lives in Etobicoke but was a local hero in Ottawa.

  • Theo/14

    Also i would like to ask. How long is Tres leash? He signed Stone to an 11 million dollar contract when his stats showed he was easily replaceable (Especially from within our own prospects). Not only that, tre gave up 2 draft picks to aquire stone!!! Only to buy him out!!!

    • Raffydog

      Just typical Flamesnation rhetoric. They give Treliving god like status because he signed Monahan and Guadreau to great contracts, but bury their heads in the sand when it comes to the multiple mistakes that buffoon has made.

    • Kevin R

      That isnt how execs & big dollar business works. Tre has a ceiling of real $$$ he can spend, cap $$$ are part of NHL operations. Just because he buys out Stone & Brouwer has diddly squat to do with owners thinking he’s a bad GM. Its based on spending real $$$’s & success. How many years straight were we out of the playoffs before Tre came along? Then in Tre’s tenure how many times have we made the playoffs. Playoff games are extra revenue to the owners. Now if Tre has too many buyouts that impacts the performance of the team, then that’s a different issue & will determine his fate. So Tre’s leash is a lot longer than you think. The 2 draft picks to acquire Stone means nothing to the owners. Cmon, you’re smarter than this.

      • LannyMac

        Your right Kev approx 3 mil in buyout money and 5.25 for an absolutely brutal free agent signing means nothing. It’s only 10% of the cap or an elite player.

        • Kevin R

          All that horrible Tre has done & we still were able to be the top seed out of the West. Better fire the guy, right Lanny? That 5.25 mill you say is so horrible, Tre probably saved at least that amount on the rock star contracts he got Hanifin & Lindholm to sign.

          • LannyMac

            I didn’t say the guy needs to go. I do know that GMs of champion teams rarely if ever tie up the money Tre has. Calgary is a good team imagine what they would be like with an additional approx 8 mil. Tkachuk gets signed and hopefully a very good RW sounds like a Cup favourite to me.

          • Kevin R

            Honestly, I dont think buyouts is the prerequisite to winning a Cup. Having dead money does lessen the chances of getting the right pieces for a playoff run. To say ownership have Tre on a short leash is what I am initially responding to.

      • JeraldinChapparal

        We’ve had some terrible GM’s here. Terrible. BT at least works the phones. We gave away Gilmour and Phanuef to the leafs for stale magic beans without seeing if there were better offers. BT Strengths: drafting, trading, signing studs to good contracts. Weaknesses: free agent RW signings. Having been around long enough to live through Risebrough, Coates, Button, Sutter, Feaster and Burke, this is the most satisfied I’ve been since Fletcher. Last year ended badly, and we’re currently not as deep as last year. But that was a fun 107 point season with below average goaltending, 4 youngsters playing significant minutes on defence and little depth scoring. First in the west, 2nd overall and the 2nd most goals. Maybe this year the kids, the bottom six, the goalies and the coaches all learn, grow and improve to help them go on a deep run.

        • Kevin R

          Was around for all those days as well. It’s probably why I am just happy that we got our thug in our lineup now. Were you ever at the Oiler-Flame games in the mid eighties & when Semenko & hunter were punching the lights out of most tough guys in the league & the two had some pretty good bouts themselves? 19000 people standing & yelling when those two went to a corner & dropped the gloves. Heck the TV hype for battle of Alberta games were almost the same as the Vince McMahon Summer Slam hype. Now that was fun hockey.

      • Albertabeef

        Sorry Kevin I’s like to give Feaster a lot more of the credit for getting us back to the playoffs. Tre has kept us from consistent playoff happiness. We have won one playoff game in the last 4 years!

        • Kevin R

          Yup he did start the revamping of our farm system & drafting. But for a Lawyer, he came perilously close to becoming the worst GM ever had things gone sideways on that offer sheet on ROR. Not getting the player & losing Monahan & I cant remember who else we got with that other pick we would have given to the Avs, but that is grounds for termination by any owner. Not an accident he hasnt gotten another GM gig in the league, havent even heard of him getting interviews for GM positions since. At least ChiePet got interviewed by the Wild, which I am not quite too sure how that happens.

          • Albertabeef

            He had some issues, but still deserves some credit for Mony, Jonny, and Janks.
            We can even give Dutter credit for Gio, Brodie, and Backs.

            Now then 4 of those 6 players include 2/3 of our first line and our top pair D. Feaster went off the board with Mony and in TSN’s redraft they had him 2nd overall. Johnny was a brilliant pick. With Tre, Benny and Chucky were the consensus top picks available. We have yet to see any “Johhny” type players from Tre yet. I mean that “yet” too. Chucky is kind of close but not quite as skilled as Johnny. Andersson, Valimaki, and Kylington look good. Pelletier, Pospisil and MEP could be good, but probably not “Johnny” good.

            As for ROR, he lead his team in the regular season and the playoffs and got a Conn Smythe trophy. Maybe Feaster knew something about this guy. Still probably for the best it didn’t work out, but that Stanley cup and Conn Smythe trophy would’ve looked good with the Flames lol.

  • Herringchoker1971

    This article is so stupid. I listen to Steinberg online sometimes when I’m jonesing for Flames talk. He has his own odd take on this team that sometimes like this article I just think really….you get paid for these comments. Do you really think that or is it a trick to piss people off and get them talking. There’s parts of Brodies game that I like but, theres times where he seems to lose focus. I personally would trade him but, I wouldn’t do it until the season is on and everyone is signed. Brodie has to much value to just give away. Frolik is the man to sacrifice. He will be missed but, Bennett can take his spot and Mangiapane can move up. It would be a wash. Brodie should be saved to get us a 3RW that shoots right or picks/prospects unless Czarnek finds another gear. I would like a bit more size on the 3RW spot though.

    • Herringchoker1971

      My guess is Tre is getting garbage offers for Brodie as teams try and take advantage. I am pretty surprised that Frolik hasnt been traded yet. He should have tons of value. I think these RFAs are gumming everything up to be honest. The teams that need a Frolik cant pull a trigger. Its a bit surprising. Maybe Brad is holding out for a big win. Its pushing closer to the season than i thought it would

    • FLT

      This is an odd take. Some who cover the Flames do throw out contentious views to get traffic (Francis) but Steinberg isn’t one of them. You say the “article is so stupid”, then go on to make a bunch of valid points of discussion in response to the article… On that note, I think your comment about Frolik is bang on. He’s a quality player on a high-but-not-crazy contract. He should net a decent return.