Brodie and Pelech. Then there were two. The other obvious up and comer would have been Negrin but he's all heating it up in Abbotsford ( I hope that's their slogan, if it isn't you're welcome.). Brodie the Offensive D-man and Pelech the stalwart stay at home guy who no one likes to go near.
So who makes it? The power play last year sucked and having a guy on hand who could step in and maybe contribute would be nice. Then again there's a bunch of pesky kids up north who us Flames fans would love to see drilled (cleanly) into the ice. Both of these guys have something to offer that is needed on this team.
Make no Mistake, they both have issues. Pelech needed to work on his footwork but that just means he's really good instead of good. Brodie is a small guy, maybe too small if he gets trapped on the ice with Rick Nash or something. Having said that he is very slick.
Where could they fit in? Let's recap.
Bouwmeester, White, Giordano and Regehr are the guys that you can say are pretty much a lock for the top four. Three spots are left between Sarich, Staios, Kronwall, Pelech, Pardy and Brodie. Sarich and Staios are veterens, overpaid and generally replaceable. Kronwall is under rated and not going to be given his shot here, his demotion last year through waivers spelled that out for him.
What I forsee happening is Kronwall being waived once again to Abbotsford unless he's picked up. He will not play for the Flames. Say what they will about the best players making camp, the veterans will not be let go, it looks too bad to pending UFA's they would like to attract. Would they trade Sarich or Staios? Sure. No one is beating the door down though. Pelech will stay as the alternate guy, he proved he can play at this level now. Pardy is a guy who is facing a world of disappointment here. He really regressed last year, maybe so much that he's done. Brodie will not make the team but next year he will for sure after the white Giordano mess is cleared up. Pardy and Kronwall are UFA next year and finally there will be some room on defence to bring these young guys in. Remember a first rounder named Erixon? He's on his way in two years as well!
So basically we will be left with Bouwmeester/ White, Regehr/ Giordano, Sarich and Staios or Pelech. Honestly I think Sarich and Pelech would be scary to skate into on any given night.
Kronwall waived, Pardy demoted or traded for pucks and Brodie demoted with a kiss.
There may be debate about that but it's a pretty good debate to have. I know Staios is old and slower but he's not useless and he's a very good leader so if he stays it's not the end of the world. If Sarich got traded I would be blown away either, so much talent and depth with two huge UFA's next year...
Enjoy the game tonight!