This coming May is the 40th anniversary of the Atlanta Flames moving to Calgary. To commemorate this occasion, we’re counting down the Top 40 Calgary Flames in history.
Coming in at #28 is TJ Brodie.
Let’s be honest here: the Flames’ drafting throughout the 1990s and 2000s was pretty rough. But in Brodie, the Flames found a gem – a reliable blueliner who could fill a role on their blueline for a long while.
Drafted from the OHL in 2008, Brodie went pro in 2010 and actually made the Flames out of training camp as a 20-year-old. He had some challenges and went down to the AHL to round out his game, partnering with veteran Joe Piskula in Abbotsford for slightly more than a season. When he returned to the NHL as a 21-year-old, he was much more confident and assured (and more relaxed in his own end).
Since the 2012-13 lockout, Brodie has been an NHL regular and has cemented himself as a regular in the top four. He doesn’t boast an imposing shot – he’s more of a distributor than a pure point man – but he’s blessed with some of the best pure skating in the NHL. He can skate himself out of trouble and that’s made him a very valuable player for the Flames, as he’s developed a long-standing partnership with Flames captain and reigning Norris Trophy winner Mark Giordano on the team’s top pairing.
Brodie’s not an elite defender. He can’t really carry a pairing on his own. But he’s one of the top secondary defenders in club history, a player whose attributes helped Giordano elevate his game to tremendous heights.
A tremendously valuable, reliable piece of the Flames’ roster for the better part of a decade, Brodie checks in at #28.
Arrival: Selected in fourth round, 114th overall, in 2008 NHL Draft (June 21, 2008)