Since trading away Dion Phaneuf the Calgary Flames have been looking for someone to step up and lead the defense. The Flames have 3 players who have the skill and ability to take control but who will step up?
Jay Bouwmeester: The signing of Bouwmeester last season was supposed to give the Flames an elite offensive defenseman. Bouwmeester took a step back. A notoriously slow starter, he finished last year with just three goals and 29 points (lowest total since sophomore season). Bouwmeester’s career potential is 25 goals and 60 points.
Mark Giordano: Giordano showed signs that he could be the go-to-guy last season as he scored 11 goals and 30 points as a sophomore. Giordano led the Flames D last year with five powerplay goals and 14 powerplay points which wasn’t even good enough to finish in the top 30 for defensemen last season. He showed he has the ability to be an offensive defenseman by scoring 16 goals and 58 points in 73 games with Omaha during the 2005-2006 AHL season. Twelve of Giordano’s goals were scored on the powerplay. Giordano’s career potential is 20 goals and 50 points.
Ian White: White came over in the Dion Phaneuf trade and outscored Phaneuf by six points last season. White scored four goals and 12 points in the 27 games after the trade to Calgary but he too failed to grab the reigns as the powerplay quarterback. White scored a career high 13 goals and 38 points last season. White’s career potential is 15 goals and 45 points.
The job of powerplay quarterback is wide open and any of these defensemen could score 40 or more points this season but who will step up? So far in the first three games of this season all three have ZERO points and all three are averaging four to five minutes of powerplay time a game. Does anyone want to be the Flames powerplay quarterback?