The Calgary Flames Should Look Into Re-Signing Alex Chiasson. Here’s why.
Alex Chiasson a good hockey player. He’s not a top-6 player like Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan was trying to turn him into last October, but he’s good. In a bottom 6 role, Chiasson is exactly the kind of player that good teams win with. Calgary is on the verge of being a Stanley Cup contending team and would do well to re-sign Chiasson before another team scoops him up. That, or before he’s forced to play a season overseas.
To start things off, let’s look at Chiasson at 5on5 even-strength. Chiasson played just over 930 minutes this season at 5on5, that was good for 6th on the time. Bolstered quite a bit by the time he spent with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, that’s still quite a bit of playing time. When he was on the ice though, he wasn’t wasting his opportunity. Of the 11 forwards on the Flames to play over 750 min. 5on5 Chiasson posted the 4th best possession numbers (CF%) at 52.07%. This had him ranked just behind the much praised 3M line consisting of two-way stalwarts Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik, and the 19 year old wunderkind Matthew Tkachuk.
That’s not all Chiasson is good for though. He is also a player that can be relied on to put up 20-30 points over a full season. Playing 4 full seasons, Chiasson has hit at least 24 points in 3 of them. This season 21 of Chiassons 24 points came at 5on5. Those 21 points at even-strength had Chiasson in a 5-way tie for 6th on the team, behind only the 3M line, Sean Monahan, and Johnny Gaudreau.
Penalty Kill Contributions
Play at 5on5 isn’t all Chiasson can do though. He is a surprisingly effective penalty killer. At around the half-way mark of the season Gulutzan united what became a very good 2nd penalty kill unit. Putting Chiasson with Sam Bennett, they were able to effectively shut-down the 2nd power play units on the other teams. In the 75 minutes Chiasson played on the penalty opposing teams only scored 7 goals and they gave up 1.
With all that in mind, Calgary would be wise to re-sign Chiasson to a cheap, one-year contract like the deal they gave Curtis Lazar (except 1 year instead of 2). The hope for a lot of fans is they can graduate a prospect who can do these things. A Morgan Klimchuk or Mark Jankowski. Fact of the matter is, you don’t just let players like Chiasson walk. Re-sign him and if a kid does beat him out in camp you can easily send him through waivers.
Even if the Calgary Flames don’t re-sign Chiasson, it’s probably fair to say they won the Patrick Sieloff trade.