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A.J. Greer was an effective member of the Calgary Flames (prior to his injury)

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Munnich
1 month ago
Two days prior to the start of the 2023-24 season, Calgary Flames general manager, Craig Conroy claimed A.J Greer off the waiver wire from the Boston Bruins. The 27-year-old left winger was relatively unknown around Calgary hockey circles as he only had one full year of NHL experience before joining the Flames. But Greer quickly showed the C of Red what he is all about.
It was an up and down season for the first year Flame. Things were going well but on January 25th against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Greer broke his foot which kept him out of the lineup for a couple months.
Because of that, Greer’s season can be broken down into two different categories: before his injury and after his injury.

The numbers

Prior to his injury, Greer was on pace to set new career highs in goals and assists. From October 10th to January 25th, Greer put up six goals and four assists in 47 games. That was good for a 10 goal, 17-point pace over 82 games. Not bad for a fourth line player with limited ice time.
Greer was unfortunately not the same player after returning from his foot injury. He didn’t score a goal and only put up two assists in 12 games.
The production might not be great, especially post injury. But his underlying numbers actually improved later in the season. The most impressive number of them all was the high danger chances which were 18-14 in favour of the Flames when Greer was on the ice at 5-on-5.
Because of the role he plays, you don’t expect a guy like Greer to put up huge numbers. His production last season is right where you’d want it to be for a fourth line forward.

The eye test

Greer was acquired by the Flames to add some size, physicality, and toughness to the lineup. Something that was lacking in training camp. His job was to get in on the forecheck, lay the body, and stand up for his teammates when called upon. He did just that. Prior to his injury, he got in three fights and was third on the Flames in hits.
Greer was also able to contribute some offence on top of being a physical force. He showed flashes of skill and a high end shot at times during this season.

What’s next for A.J. Greer?

Greer is an unrestricted free agent this summer. He has expressed a desire to return to the Flames. Craig Conroy mentioned in his year-end press conference that he will reach out to Greer’s agent in the near future.
Calgary has a lot of NHL forwards signed for next season and they’re going to want to find room on the NHL roster for some of their young players.
Where does Greer fit in with this current roster? You could send Walker Duehr and Dryden Hunt to the AHL. Even if that happens, the Flames will likely want to find a way to keep Matt Coronato and Jakob Pelletier on the NHL roster.
I just don’t see where Greer fits with this team next season. If he is willing to take a two-way contract, then I would try to bring him back. But if he is looking for a one-way deal, the best course of action might be letting him walk as a UFA.

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