I am writing to you today in regards to your employer, an organization I care about deeply, the Calgary Flames.
I have to say that as a whole, I am a fan of your body of work since joining the organization. While I was skeptical at first when you traded for Brandon Bollig and signed Deryk Engelland to a big contract, you won my confidence with the shocking acquisition of Dougie Hamilton, followed by the very intelligent signing of Michael Frolik.
However, Brad, recently your moves have worried me. It started last summer. There was plenty of reason to think that Troy Brouwer would not be a good producer on the ice, yet you signed him to a long-term deal for a lot of money. I speak for a large segment of fans in saying that we really do not appreciate that move.
During the course of the season, you brought on Matt Bartkowski and Michael Stone into the lineup. While the results of the team improved due to terrific play by Brian Elliott as well as the team’s top 2 lines, there is no logical basis for arguing that Bartkowski or Stone had much to do at all with the Flames starting to win more games.
Then, last weekend. We had so many exciting options on our wish list of who the next goaltender of the Calgary Flames would be. Maybe a young, exciting goaltender who was ready to take on a regular workload and grow with the team. Maybe a more established guy, like Steve Mason or Marc-Andre Fleury. Heck, I would have been very happy to see Brian Elliott come back.
Instead, you gave us Mike Smith. A guy who has some pedigree and has performed well at times in his career, but is 35, injury prone and has only posted above a .916 SV% once in his entire career. 5 years ago.
Needless to say, things have been a little concerning.
That brings us to now. I hear from Canada’s Wizard of Hockey Knowledge, Mr. Bob McKenzie, that you are negotiating with Michael Stone.
If I could offer some advice, it would be to stop. Right now.
We know what Michael Stone is. What he is, is something that we do not need you to pay much of anything for.
He had a -6.2% relative CF% with the Calgary Flames, while posting a 105 PDO. So yeah, it might have looked like he was doing alright on the ice, but it is not going to hold up.
We all suffered through 5 years of watching Dennis Wideman not be very good, but we are finally free. Please do not immediately replace his contract with another very regrettable one.
Think about T.J. Brodie. The first excellent move you made as a GM was signing him to a very reasonable long-term deal. Think about how he suffered last season, being stuck playing with players vastly inferior to his abilities, in Stone, Wideman and Engelland.
This is an opportunity to find T.J. a partner that can play well and move the puck. Imagine a world where he was not trying to prop somebody up who should not be getting top-4 ice time. Stone should not be getting top-4 ice time.
There is this cool guy in Florida. His name is Jason Demers. His bosses are kind of crazy and seem to be giving away quality players for almost free. Apparently they want to move on from Demers. He is pretty good.
I think T.J. would appreciate him. I think the fans would appreciate him.
But hey, I know he might not be available or the cost could be too high. I get it, us outsiders do not know the trade market.
However, we do have information that shows players like Michael Stone, Marc Methot and even Travis Hamonic, probably are not that good. In that case, just hold off.
Don’t buy for the sake of buying. Let Rasmus Andersson and Brett Kulak have a turn. If they don’t work out, at least we don’t have another Brouwer contract on our hands.
Thanks for your time Brad and I hope you will consider what I have written to you.
On behalf of myself and probably a decent segment of the Calgary Flames community, we do not want another Brouwer contract this off-season.