Sunday, February 28, 2021

Brodie’s understated return to Calgary with Leafs feels just right

Brodie's understated return to Calgary with Leafs feels just right

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While it would be oversimplifying things to say the Flames had one ready-made replacement waiting in the wings, Rasmus Andersson has taken over fulltime as Giordano’s partner on the first-pairing.

The Flames signed Chris Tanev soon after Brodie joined the Leafs, too, and while it’s not accurate to say he is a like-for-like replacement, the team’s depth on the blueline has certainly helped lessen the blow of Brodie’s departure.

“Totally different players, but both really effective at what they do and both have fit into our top-four extremely well,” Ward said when he was asked about comparing Tanev and Brodie. “When TJ was here, obviously he played a lot with Gio. They were a really good tandem, and we really like what (Tanev) is bringing to our lineup right now as far as playing with younger players. I think him and (Noah Hanifin) are really developing some good chemistry. He eats a lot of pucks, really good down low. I think we’re going to see his offence grow here as he gets more comfortable with what he does defensively.”

Ultimately, the Flames have moved on and so has Brodie. There don’t seem to be any hard feelings. Just an appreciation of the time Brodie spent with the organization.

Giordano said he’d text with Brodie after the two games the Flames and Leafs play on Sunday (2 p.m.) and Tuesday (7 p.m.), while Brodie said he hadn’t put a tonne of thought into his return to Calgary.

“I didn’t really think about it at all. My main focus was here and getting to know the guys and getting to know the systems and create that chemistry here,” Brodie told reporters after the Leafs’ Friday night win over the Edmonton Oilers. “(Returning to Calgary) is something I didn’t really worry about, I figured I’d think about it when the time comes.”

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