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The Depth Chart; Defense

1. Mark Giordano

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The Calgary Flames will make re-signing Mark Giordano a priority this summer. Giordano was looking like a serious Norris Trophy candidate before his 2014-15 campaign was cut short due to torn biceps. He still has a season left on his five-year, $20.1 million contract, but it’s not surprising to see Calgary aim to re-sign its captain with plenty of time to spare. Giordano will likely end up getting a significant raise. Giordano looked solid this year and if it wasn’t for his injury, would probably have won the Norris Trophy. He had 48 points in 61 contests this season and him and D partner T.J. Brodie were the best defensive pair in the NHL until the injury.
SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Skates well, moves the puck and possesses good offensive ability. Always works hard to improve his all-around game. Can be a factor on the power play. Underrated in physical contests, he’s developing into a top-notch team leader thanks to his tenacious, warrior style of play. Is an excellent shot-blocker.
Flaws: While he’s very strong, he does not possess ideal National Hockey League size for a blueliner, so he can at times struggle against bigger forwards in his own end. Needs to continue shooting the puck more in order to maximize his offensive potential.
Career Potential: Solid team leader and all-round defenseman.
Season Stats
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
61 11 37 48 13 37 2 12 1 0 2 157 .070
Career Stats
Year Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
2005 CAL 7 0 1 1 2 8 0 1 0 0 0 5 .000
2006 CAL 48 7 8 15 7 36 3 2 0 0 2 49 .143
2008 CAL 58 2 17 19 2 59 2 4 0 0 0 82 .024
2009 CAL 82 11 19 30 17 81 5 9 0 0 1 111 .099
2010 CAL 82 8 35 43 -8 67 5 20 0 0 1 165 .048
2011 CAL 61 9 18 27 0 75 5 5 0 1 0 125 .072
2012 CAL 47 4 11 15 -7 40 1 2 1 1 1 58 .069
2013 CAL 64 14 33 47 12 63 7 13 0 3 2 180 .078

2. T.J. Brodie

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T.J. Brodie has an assist in a 5-3 win over Dallas. Brodie ended a three-game point drought. He has 11 goals and 41 points in 77 games this season. That’s good enough to put him in a tie for 20th place in the blueliner scoring race. T.J. Brodie was a solid defensemen this season and definitely improved enough to give him this spot. He is the captain Giordano’s regular partner and them two together were a force to be wreckened with this season before the injury occurred.
SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Moves the puck well and is an even better skater–he’s fast and agile. Has intriguing offensive upside. Can run the power play for many years to come.
Flaws: Needs to get physically stronger in order to win more battles at the NHL level. Also needs to focus and concentrate more when he’s in the game.
Career Potential: Offensive defenseman with upside.
Season Stats
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
81 11 30 41 15 30 3 6 1 2 3 133 .083
Career Stats
Year Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
2010 CAL 3 0 0 0 -3 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
2011 CAL 54 2 12 14 3 14 1 5 0 0 2 44 .045
2012 CAL 47 2 12 14 -9 8 0 6 0 0 0 44 .045
2013 CAL 81 4 27 31 0 20 1 6 0 2 2 104 .038

3. Dennis Wideman

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Dennis Wideman assisted on both Calgary goals in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Anaheim. He accounted for seven helpers in 11 playoff games, but the Flames were eliminated in five outings by the Ducks. Wideman amassed 15 goals and 56 points in 80 games during the regular season. He set new career regular season highs for himself as a lot of Flames did this season, he played a strong role along with Kris Russell while the captain Giordano was hurt.
SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Owns excellent puck skills and is a quality asset at the point with the man advantage. Can log a lot of minutes and is a solid puck-moving D-man.
Flaws: Doesn’t play the body nearly enough, and struggles in defensive-zone coverage. Will cough up the puck at the wrong time. Lacks consistency.
Career Potential: Veteran offensive defenseman.
Season Stats
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
80 15 41 56 6 34 6 15 0 0 2 173 .087
Career Stats
Year Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
2005 STL 67 8 16 24 -31 83 5 9 1 0 1 150 .053
2006 BOS 75 6 19 25 -10 71 4 11 0 0 1 122 .049
2007 BOS 81 13 23 36 11 70 9 11 0 0 1 171 .076
2008 BOS 79 13 37 50 32 34 6 19 1 0 2 169 .077
2009 BOS 76 6 24 30 -14 34 2 11 0 2 2 146 .041
2010 WAS 75 10 30 40 -19 39 9 13 0 0 1 160 .063
2011 WAS 82 11 35 46 -8 46 4 16 0 0 3 175 .063
2012 CAL 46 6 16 22 -9 12 4 9 0 1 1 94 .064
2013 CAL 46 4 17 21 -15 18 2 2 0 1 0 102 .039
4. Kris Russell

Oct 23, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Kris Russell (4) passes the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

He proved to be a solid leader this year, and through the injury of captain Mark Giordano, stepped up to play some big minutes along with Dennis Wideman. He was a big reason the Flames had that push to get where they got. His play has definitely surpassed what people had expected and look for more out of Kris Russell. He also set an NHL record in block shots this season.
SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Plays with a lot of confidence with the puck. Quite gritty for a player his size, he owns plenty of offensive acumen and moves the puck up ice with aplomb. Has great wheels.
Flaws: A lack of size and strength hinders his ability to defend bigger forwards at the NHL level. Is also prone to mental lapses. He lacks consistency in the offensive zone.
Career Potential: Mobile, yet undersized puck-moving defenseman.
Season Stats
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
79 4 30 34 18 17 1 13 0 0 0 111 .036
Career Stats
Year Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
2007 CLM 67 2 8 10 -12 14 1 3 0 0 1 90 .022
2008 CLM 66 2 19 21 -10 28 1 10 0 0 1 86 .023
2009 CLM 70 7 15 22 3 32 0 7 0 0 1 108 .065
2010 CLM 73 5 18 23 -9 37 1 5 0 1 0 88 .057
2011 STL 55 6 6 12 12 25 0 1 0 0 1 56 .107
2012 STL 33 1 6 7 6 9 1 1 0 0 0 41 .024
2013 CAL 68 7 22 29 -11 15 4 8 0 1 1 109 .064

5. Deryk Engelland

CALGARY, AB - OCTOBER 21: Deryk Engelland #29 of the Calgary Flames in action against the Tampa Bay Lightning during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on October 21, 2014 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Engelland played his part this season and when the time came he stepped up. He looked much better here in Calgary than he did in Pittsburgh. He is a good defensemen who might not be the biggest but can deliver on some big hits. He is a good talent that the Flames had acquired, of course the question comes up if he gets paid too much at 2.9 million.

SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Has size and the physical toughness teams love. Is a willing combatant and a solid team-first player. Is also fairly steady in the defensive zone.
Flaws: Doesn’t have a lot of offensive ability, especially at the big-league level. Can be prone to mistakes when he has the puck on his stick.
Career Potential: Physical depth defenseman with pugilistic skills.
Season Stats
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
76 2 9 11 -16 53 0 0 0 1 0 51 .039
Career Stats
Year Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
2009 PIT 9 0 2 2 -2 17 0 0 0 1 0 4 .000
2010 PIT 63 3 7 10 -5 123 0 0 0 0 0 49 .061
2011 PIT 73 4 13 17 10 56 0 0 0 0 1 86 .047
2012 PIT 42 0 6 6 5 54 0 0 0 0 0 31 .000
2013 PIT 56 6 6 12 -6 58 0 1 0 0 1 59 .102

6. Ladislav Smid

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Ladislav Smid will miss the rest of the 2014-15 campaign due to a neck vertebrae injury. Smid hasn’t played since Jan. 19 due to the issue. He will finish with an assist in 31 games. He had only played 31 games due to injury but Smid this season did not get to accomplish a whole lot, I guess we shall wait and see until training camp.
SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Displays plenty of intelligence and poise–with and without the puck. Has the size scouts like in an NHL defender. Excels in defending opposing scorers. Has a bit of a mean streak.
Flaws: Doesn’t own a lot of offensive ability. Needs to be pushed at times, since he has a tendency to take some shifts off. Must find a greater level of consistency.
Career Potential: Solid shutdown defenseman.
Season Stats
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
31 0 1 1 -12 13 0 0 0 0 0 21 .000
Career Stats
Year Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
2006 EDM 77 3 7 10 -16 37 0 1 0 0 0 53 .057
2007 EDM 65 0 4 4 -15 58 0 0 0 0 0 45 .000
2008 EDM 60 0 11 11 -6 57 0 0 0 0 0 33 .000
2009 EDM 51 1 8 9 5 39 0 2 0 0 0 36 .028
2010 EDM 78 0 10 10 -10 85 0 1 0 0 0 48 .000
2011 EDM 78 5 10 15 4 44 0 0 0 1 0 47 .106
2012 EDM 48 1 3 4 -1 55 0 0 0 1 0 30 .033
2013 CAL 73 2 6 8 -10 78 0 0 0 0 0 41 .049

7. Jakub Nakladal

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Look for this guy to come to Calgary and make an impact on the blueline.

SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Owns good size for the National Hockey League game. Has a defensive conscience and usually keeps things simple in his own zone. Kills penalties with aplomb and also has a booming point shot.
Flaws: Doesn’t use his big shot enough and lacks offensive flair in general. Needs to adjust his game to North American-sized rinks. Could stand to add more bulk to his frame to maximize his NHL prospects.
Career Potential: Big, solid defender.

8. Tyler Wotherspoon

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Wotherspoon played a little in the playoffs and I would expect him to get more playing time next season. He looks to become a very solid and reliable defensemen.

SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Plays a safe game and limits his mistakes on the back end. Is reliable and dependable, capable of logging important minutes. Moves the puck fairly well, too.
Flaws: For a player with good size, he doesn’t use it nearly enough to intimidate opponents physically. That must change in order to maximize his National Hockey League potential.
Career Potential: Big, reliable defenseman with some upside.
Season Stats
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
1 0 0 0 -3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Career Stats
Year Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
2013 CAL 14 0 4 4 -3 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000

9. David Schlemko

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Schlemko is an UFA this offseason and should they resign him? They picked him up as a rental and he did play pretty consistent when he had to, not a bad defensemen. We will see what the Flames think soon.

SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Has decent size and pretty good puck-moving skills. Is also fairly mobile and solid in his own end. Limits his mistakes. Can log a lot of ice time if need be.
Flaws: Doesn’t use the body a lot, which leaves him vulnerable against bigger forwards in the defensive zone. Doesn’t wow you with any one physical or mental trait.
Career Potential: Puck-moving depth defenseman.
Season Stats
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
44 1 3 4 1 12 0 2 0 0 0 45 .022
Career Stats
Year Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
2008 ARI 3 0 1 1 -2 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 .000
2009 ARI 17 1 4 5 1 8 0 2 0 0 0 19 .053
2010 ARI 43 4 10 14 8 24 0 5 0 0 0 47 .085
2011 ARI 46 1 10 11 7 10 0 0 0 0 0 58 .017
2012 ARI 30 1 5 6 8 12 0 0 0 0 0 35 .029
2013 ARI 48 1 8 9 2 18 0 3 0 0 0 61 .016

10. Raphael Diaz

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SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Is a smooth skater with puck poise and some offensive acumen. Moves the puck efficiently most of the time. Doesn’t make a lot of mistakes when he has the puck.
Flaws: Lacks size and strength, so he can get knocked off the puck with relative frequency. Needs to be more assertive when on the ice, both on offense and defense.
Career Potential: Smooth, yet fragile puck-moving defenseman.
Season Stats
GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
56 2 2 4 -3 10 1 0 0 0 1 52 .038
Career Stats
Year Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
2011 MON 59 3 13 16 -7 30 0 4 0 2 1 61 .049
2012 MON 23 1 13 14 4 6 0 8 0 0 0 34 .029
2013 NYR 63 2 13 15 -2 16 0 4 0 1 0 68 .029

Coleton MacDonald
The Founder of Weliveforhockey.com
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