The Calgary Flames’ opening night roster just got a (literal) big addition.
The Flames claimed A.J. Greer off of waivers from the Boston Bruins on Monday afternoon. After much speculation around the team adding a waiver wire player—especially with the assignment of Adam Klapka, Cole Schwindt, and Ilya Solovyov to the AHL—they did just that.
Although many wanted the Flames to spice up the Battle of Alberta by claiming Raphael Lavoie on waivers, the team opted for Greer instead.
Here is what you need to know about the newest Flame:
Playing stats and style
Greer, a 26-year-old left winger, is a former second-round draft pick by the Colorado Avalanche in 2015. He bounced around a few teams, including the New York Islanders AHL affiliate and the New Jersey Devils, before playing last season with the Bruins.
Last year was his first full season in the NHL, playing in 61 games and netting five goals and 12 points—not really excelling on the scoresheet.
What he did excel in last season was having 114 PIMs, and registering seven fights. He sits at a solid six-foot three-inches, and at 205 pounds, was a clear target for the Flames to add some grit and strength to the lineup.
Ryan Huska confirmed this shortly after the claim:
Per his playing cards from Evolving-Hockey.com, Greer’s underlying numbers on the defensive end don’t look too awful:
Based on a limited sample size, Greer seems to do an excellent job at suppressing chances and goals against. Although not the driver behind the offence, that isn’t why they claimed him. If he can find a way to limit the goals against him, while driving play more physically, it makes sense why the team would want to add him.
Think of a younger and more defensively reliable Milan Lucic.
Add in the fact that Boston Bruins fans seem quite upset about the claim, and maybe for good reason, the Flames could be onto something here.
Trend of things to come?
All that being said, it does raise a slightly concerning approach that the team still seems to be going back to size and grit. Although they are giving an opportunity to Matt Coronato, rather than filling the void left by Jakob Pelletier with someone younger and more offensively driven, the team opted for Greer.
Time will tell if that is the right pick, but for now, let’s hope Greer fits in well on the 2023–24 Calgary Flames.