Calgary Flames should have never picked up Chris Stewart

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 28 d018: (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 28 d018: (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

It’s only been two games, but it’s already clear that the Calgary Flames picking Chris Stewart up off of waivers was a mistake.

I know I have a knack of getting angry about things early on (as with most Calgary Flames fans) and I know it’s still early, but picking up Chris Stewart was a mistake. In fact, nobody thought it was a good idea to begin with. GM Brad Treliving said that they’ve been needing a right-shooting RW, which is true with Kris Versteeg injured, but Stewart was absolutely not the solution.

On trade deadline day, the Flames picked Stewart up off of waivers. For some reason. He’s only played in two games but he’s been quite bad in both games. His Flames debut came against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday evening where he started the game out on the top line (????).

Throughout the game, he was somewhat making his way down the lineup since he wasn’t quite working with anybody. If I had to put it bluntly, he’s like Troy Brouwer, but slower and worse.

Related Story: Flames claim Chris Stewart off waivers

In that game against the Stars, it was evident that he wasn’t going to fit in with the team. On that top line, he was way slower than Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan and made about one good backhand pass. But that’s the only decent play he made. He barely battled for the puck and didn’t seem like a guy who was fighting for his life at this point in his career.

I know this all sounds harsh but the underlying numbers don’t lie too.

Against Dallas, he had the worst Rel.CF% on the team at -40.03 (stats from Natural Stat Trick). MINUS FORTY. I’m not trying to be mean but I really didn’t even think -40 was possible, especially in a game where the Flames actually did quite well in terms of puck-possession.

While Stewart had better numbers in the game against the Colorado Avalanche, he played the majority of the time on the fourth line with Matt Stajan and Tanner Glass who, surprisingly, had a pretty good game, and had limited minutes. But Stewart was somewhat unnoticeable. And at the same time, most of the Flames had good possession numbers in that game.

What’s also frustrating is that when GM Brad Treliving was talking about Stewart, he mentioned how good he is in the shootout. But the Calgary Flames shouldn’t exactly be looking to add to their team based on their shootout%. While that’s a plus, that should be one of the last things you even look at or depend on.

Throughout Stewart’s career, he’s never been good at puck-possession. And while he has bounced around from team to team so it may have taken him some time to find chemistry, you don’t exactly improve your ability to battle for the puck when you’re in your late-twenties/early thirties.

Next: How the Flames fared on trade deadline

I know this was a long way to say “the Calgary Flames should have never picked up Chris Stewart” and I know I jump to conclusions a lot, but Chris Stewart is bad, is what I’m really trying to get at here.