The Flames weren’t in a position to spend assets at the trade deadline. At the same time, they weren’t really in a position to sell, either. To that end, might as well do the next best thing: pick up a right winger on waivers and hope he’ll work out.
The Flames’ season was lost soon after, and none of that was Chris Stewart’s fault, but things didn’t exactly work out.
2017-18 season summary
Placed on waivers on Feb. 25, the Flames picked Stewart up the following day. Of the 19 games they had remaining, he played in just seven of them, registering two secondary assists and scoring a goal in the final minute of what ended up being a 5-1 blowout loss.
All numbers are with the Flames only.
5v5 CF% rel
It’s not as though the Wild unfairly waived Stewart. In 47 games with them, he scored just 13 points, all while playing roughly the same amount per game. His corsi was significantly lower: a 40.37% at 5v5, and relatively, he was a -7.41%. He just wasn’t very good, and every positive stat he may have registered with the Flames kind of becomes nullified due to most of his ice time with them being meaningless.
Stewart’s most common linemates in Calgary were Mark Jankowski and Micheal Ferland, playing 37:43 and 29:21 5v5 minutes with them, respectively. They all played better away from one another.
Compared to last season
Stewart played his entire 2016-17 with the Wild, scoring 13 goals and 21 points over 79 games. He has averaged under 11 minutes of ice time per game since the 2015-16 season. He did have 94 penalty minutes in 2016-17; in 2017-18, he had 27, and none for the Flames.
Stewart is basically a very big, if mostly unremarkable, body who sometimes puts up points and is generally below average for his team.
What about next season?
Stewart turns 31 in late October. The Flames may not have much in the way of right wingers – particularly of the top six variety (maybe Spencer Foo can be that? We hope?) – but his best days are definitely behind him.
Stewart could likely be retained for relatively cheap, but one of the Flames’ main problems over the past season was having too many low-impact subpar bottom six players, and Stewart would only add to that. It simply doesn’t make sense to bring him back.