Trevor Lewis gave the Flames good fourth line value in 2021-22
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike11 months ago
After an unproductive 2020-21 season, Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving – in consultation with head coach Darryl Sutter – focused on bringing in specific players for specific roles. One of the key players brought in on an inexpensive deal for a depth role was two-time Stanley Cup champion Trevor Lewis.
One of the older players on the Flames in 2021-22, Lewis didn’t play a ton but he gave the Flames a good amount of value.
Originally from Salt Lake City, Lewis gained attention for a breakout campaign in his second year of NHL draft eligibility when he had 75 points in 56 games for the United States Hockey League’s Des Moines Buccaneers. He was selected by the Los Angeles Kings at 17th overall, and opted to jump to the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack for his 20-year-old season.
Going pro full-time the following season, he played two seasons with the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs – earning call-ups to the Kings and playing 11 NHL games over those first two seasons – before becoming a full-time NHLer in 2010-11.
For the next 10 seasons, Lewis was… well, he was Trevor Lewis. He usually played in the Kings’ bottom six and on the penalty kill, wobbling between centre and the wing as needed. He was usually good for about 15-20 points like clockwork, though occasionally he pushed towards the mid-20s. But his gig wasn’t point production: it was eating up the tough minutes and maintaining pace while buying some time for the top six players. He won Stanley Cups with the Kings in 2012 and 2014.
He left the Kings following the 2019-20 season as a free agent.
He spent the 2020-21 season with the Winnipeg Jets, but left them as a free agent to join the Flames.
Good fourth line players have been tough for the Flames to find and utilize consistently in recent years, so when Lewis was signed by the Flames to a one year deal worth $800,000, the general consensus was “Oh, that makes a lot of sense.” Lewis was a savvy veteran with two Cup rings who could give the Flames some stability on the fourth line and chip in on the penalty kill.
Guess what? He gave the Flames stability on the fourth line and he chipped in on the penalty kill. 16 points in 80 games was pretty much in line with what Lewis usually produced, and he generally gave the Flames low-event, rock-solid fourth line minutes.
Lewis was also responsible for this touching video tribute when Drew Doughty reached 1,000 NHL games played.
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He played primarily with Milan Lucic and was usually the fourth line centre (with Brett Ritchie or Brad Richardson on his right) or the fourth line right wing (with Adam Ruzicka or Sean Monahan as centre). He was on the second penalty kill unit fairly regularly, typically playing with Blake Coleman, Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin.
His underlying numbers were fairly middle of the road, generally about average considering his role and usage, but his intangibles as a tough-minutes veteran in the locker room probably elevated his usefulness to the team. For $800,000, just $50,000 north of league minimum salary, he was a really useful player.
Lewis is 35 years old, turning 36 in January. He’s not exactly a spring chicken, but based upon the last season there’s some tread left on the tires. Given that the Flames (a) could have some fresh, youthful faces in the bottom six next season, such as Ruzicka, and (b) they’ll be looking for some inexpensive veteran players to mentor those youngsters, bringing Lewis back could make a good amount of sense.
The big challenge is that the Flames will be cap-strapped, so they probably wouldn’t be in much of a position to offer Lewis much of a raise (or any raise at all) above what he made last season.
Lewis and the Flames were a really good fit last season. If he’s looking to cash in, he’ll probably be looking elsewhere. But if he liked the fit last season and has a desire to give it another try at a long playoff run with a familiar group (and coach), we could see him in a red jersey again in the fall.
2021-22 Flames player evaluations
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