Scott Hannan: Newest Flame
I remember a time not too long ago when Scott Hannan was considered one of the premier shut down defenceman in the NHL.
I even remember him being constantly compared to another shut down defenceman – Robyn Regehr.
Where did the time go?
Regehr is gone and Hannan is now a Flame. Not traded for one another, but you can’t help but think that one is replacing the other – even if Hannan is not on the same level as a Regehr at this point in his career.
Hannan had his best days as a San Jose Shark and most of them before the lockout. He is 32-years old, so not quite over the hill. For one million dollars, there is no real risk in the signing.
But I find myself thinking the exact same thing with every signing the Flames make. You bring in an older veteran to take yet another spot away from a prospect ready to make the jump. It’s become the Flames modus operandi. Do they have such little faith in their prospects or are they just terrified of losing a couple more games in the name of eventually becoming a better team?
Much like the Morrison signing, I would rather the Flames let a young kid play instead of giving his minutes to a guy like Hannan who is nothing but a stop-gap in the Flames development of talented d-men.
This leaves the Flames with Bouwmeester, Giordano, Sarich, Babchuk, Butler and Hannan as regular NHLers on the blue line. You’re left filling the holes with Mikkelson, Carson, Brodie, Breen and Negrin.
Barring an injury, it doesn’t leave a lot of space for a rookie to get much ice time, now does it?
So why do it? Are the Flames going to win the Stanley Cup this year? No, they’re not. They aren’t good enough. So why not give Brodie or Breen or Negrin a realistic shot at making the team as a full time member. Heck, at least give them a fighting chance.
The bargain bin philosophy that the Flames have had these past two summers with the likes of Tanguay, Jokinen, Morrison and Hannan seems to be working but why not build from within and save the money for a talented player who is already in the system?
I’ve had this conversation with too many people to count, but I’d rather see a guy like Brodie play a full season with the Flames and struggle a bit, but learn from his mistakes, than watch a run of the mill defenceman like Hannan play average hockey just so the Flames can finish in 9th place again.
Scott Hannan isn’t going to push this team over the top, and I’m sure that’s not the intention. But a TJ Brodie with a couple years of NHL experience might eventually take this team to a different level.
That is, if he is ever given an actual shot at seeing the ice. At this rate, it seems unlikely.