David Schlemko came to the Calgary Flames as a late waiver pickup right before the trade deadline, at a time of crisis - the loss of the captain, Mark Giordano. And what a pickup it was, as he slotted right into the bottom defensive pairing to provide some stability on the back end.
It may have been a one-time thing, but it was just shocking enough to stick in the minds of fans everywhere.
Aside from winning that first game for his new team, he provided steady defence and was the top skater (minimum 10 games played) on the team in possession stats in both the regular season and the playoffs. On a 44% Corsi team, David Schlemko was the only skater who played over 10 games that came out as a positive possession player - that's impressive.
M&G weighs in on the two-time waiver pickup, shootout extraordinaire:
David Schlemko was, by far, the best of Calgary’s bottom pairing defencemen, and he came for free. He was an outstanding pickup that absolutely should be brought back, if only to provide reliable depth for an uncertain defensive core’s future. I mean, Mark Giordano and Schlemko in the same lineup? Get another top four guy, have Schlemmers helping anchor the bottom minutes - which he did extremely well in, possibly hinting that if anyone should have been elevated to the top four in the Flames’ time of need, he may very well have handled those responsibilities the best - and the Flames’ defence just might start to look very solid.
It’s kind of hilarious that he played for three teams this past season, with the Arizona Coyotes and Dallas Stars waiving him. Neither made the playoffs. The Flames did, and Schlemko had a positive impact on them. He has value.
Mike Fail (B):
Waived twice this season? Yeah no big deal. Thanks Arizona and Dallas, we’ll enjoy Schlemmers ourselves. In a very small sample, he provided blueline depth and was a stable option in terms of possession. The team (besides some small gaffes) played better with him on the ice over others. I hope he is re-signed for a bottom pairing role because he is better than three folks on the roster already. Can you guess who?
Schlemko came in as a double waiver pickup and was awesome for the Flames. The pairing of Schlemko and Diaz stabilized the team’s performance on the bottom pair even while the second pairing of Engelland and Brodie were performing quite poorly. The Flames barely made the playoffs and Schlemko was a major part in them scratching their way in. Hopefully the team isn’t stupid and they re-sign him (and Diaz).
Hard to believe Schlemko was put on waivers twice before the Flames picked him up this season, but a great pickup he was, right around the time Calgary was really struggling with Mark Giordano out of the lineup, Schlemko came in and provided solid 4/5/6 defence. He was consistently one of the best possession drivers in the games he played (though this may be due to the easier circumstances he got in comparison to the top four). Also, that shootout goal, am I right?
It’s hard to believe teams twice passed on Schlemko while he was on waivers. He came to the Flames in their moment of disaster and turned out to be a solid addition to the defensive corps. He’s a good puck mover that often goes unnoticed thanks to Bob Hartley’s odd deployment strategies. I hope he gets re-signed, as he could be a very good second pairing player.
An astute waiver pickup, Schlemko offered stability at a time the Flames desperately needed it, with Giordano going down injured. I’d like to see him back, but if he doesn’t return, we’ll always have Boston.
David Schlemko was a solid addition to Calgary’s blueline. In 19 regular season games with the team, he was the only positive possession driver at 53% (minimum 10 games played). This is an amazing feat considering the Flames were the third worst possession team at 44.4%.
Pretty solid across the board, Schlemko earned a solid B from M&G this season.
David Schlemko is the epitome of 'one man's trash is another man's treasure,' as a player who got waived twice this season only to be a blessing for the Calgary Flames' struggling defensive corps. In fact, we'd like to keep him around!