Welcome to another edition of Monday Roundtable! Today, we’ll be talking everything about the Calgary Flames defencemen and seeing how next season could pan out.
Who says Mondays have to always be the worst day of the week? Especially when you get to talk about hockey! Today, we the writers here at Flame for Thought had a virtual roundtable discussion about the Calgary Flames defencemen.
There were a few issues with the defencemen this season. Of course, we all already know about the whole Dennis Wideman contract and how excited Flames fans were for this season to end so his contract would expire. But there were also some positives! Like the dynamic duo of Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton. And when Michael Stone came to Calgary and basically replaced Wideman on that second unit with T.J. Brodie which sparked a Flames ten-game win streak.
I decided to ask the writers some questions about the defencemen and seeing how everybody felt. Here are the results:
Question 1: Should Dennis Wideman be re-signed?
Hahahahahhahahahahahahaha ok sorry that was a joke one to start off. Moving on. Here are the real questions:
Question 1: We saw Michael Stone come in and somewhat replace Dennis Wideman. Is Stone a good enough top four defenseman to play alongside T.J. Brodie or was just anything better than Wideman?
Personally, I think Stone is perfectly adequate. I’ve heard some people knock him and his underlying stats, but I think he would a solid #4 as he seemed to have good chemistry with Brodie and has a great shot which could be of use on the powerplay. He boxes forwards out beautifully along the boards and in front of the net. My only critique for him is his occasional lapses in coverage.
It’s too early to tell if Stone’s going to blossom into a top-four defenceman or if he was simply better than Wideman. But based on what we say this season, Stone has earned the shot at getting second-pairing minutes in 2017-18. No reason to move him down the depth chart.
I think that Michael Stone is a pretty good comparable defenseman to TJ Brodie. Look at the statistics for TJ Brodie, before and after the Stone Trade.
Before Michael Stone was acquired:
- T.J. Brodie: 59 GP, 4-19–23, -25
Brodie’s plus/minus statistic was alarming. He was being left exposed to the poor play of his usual partner of Dennis Wideman, and it showed on the ice. These are significantly poor numbers from one of the NHL’s more underrated and consistent defenseman. His goal output was significantly down, as well as his point total.
After Michael Stone was acquired:
- T.J. Brodie: 23 GP, 2-11–13, +9
Hey! Brodie’s play took off…well I wonder why. Michael Stone is a relatively good skater, and a good complement to the swift skating Brodie. His plus/minus stat significantly increased while playing alongside Michael Stone. Stone helped clean up the Flames defensive end and was also playing a significant role in their ten game winning streak down the stretch. Brodie benefitted from playing with Michael Stone.
Dennis Wideman was definitely an anchor for T.J. Brodie. We all saw how well Brodie performs even when the team doesn’t and he’s able to fix his own mistakes. But it’s somewhat hard constantly having to fix the mistakes of your defensive partner so Michael Stone coming in not only replaced Wideman, but somewhat boosted the morale of Brodie and the entire team. Is he good enough to be a top four defenceman alongside Brodie for the entirety of next season? It may be too early to tell right now. But I think he should be given a shot.