Calgary Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie has been climbing the Flames’ depth charts over the last few seasons and that culminated in his recently inked two-year, $4.25 million contract.
He scored two goals and 14 points in 47 games last season while averaging 20:13 minutes per contest. He turned 23 in June, so this new deal can be seen as a “show me” contract. If he proves over the next two campaigns that he’s worthy of a top-four role, then his next contract could be far more lucrative.
“It’s a contract I can grow into,” he said, according to the Flames’ website. “Hopefully I can play well the next couple of years and prove that I can play and be a good defenseman for the team.”
He realizes that he’ll have to earn his top-four spot all over again, but he’s in a good position to do that, especially due to the departure of Jay Bouwmeester. After Calgary traded Bouwmeester on April 1, Brodie’s playing time skyrocketed to the point where he was averaging 23:25 minutes per game in April.
Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.
Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.
Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.
This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.
With the start of the regular season just around the corner, it looks like Robby Fabbri will not only make his NHL debut on Thursday, but also get meaningful minutes.
During Sunday’s practice the 19-year-old forward played alongside Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. Nothing is set in stone, but that combination did gel.
“I think we want to look at what the combinations look like now rather than do it at the start of the season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re looking at a hard match line and we’re also looking at taking advantage of speed and skill off the rush.
“I really liked what I saw today. I really liked Lehtera’s line, they looked very dynamic off the rush.”
The top line of Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a good bet to play together for the time being. Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz will stick together on the second line while Dmitrij Jaskin and David Backes can expect to be regular partners on the third unit. The X-factors will be Fabbri and Troy Brouwer as Hitchcock has left the door open to alternating between the two of them on the second and third line depending on the opponent.
Fabbri was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is looking to make the leap after a brief stint in the AHL last season. At the OHL level, he’s been a dominate force with the Guelph Storm, scoring 25 goals and 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15.