August is a time for veteran players to find new homes as after the top names have found homes in July teams look to add the depth pieces to bolster their squads playoff chances with some added talent on the backend of their rosters. That was the case in Calgary this week as the Flames signed veteran forward Devin Setoguchi to a one year, $750,000 deal that gives the Alberta franchise some good value for an experienced player.
Setoguchi scored 11 goals and registered 16 assists with the Winnipeg Jets last season and is a former 31 goal scorer with the San Jose Sharks, but told the Calgary Sun that after watching himself essentially become one of the last picked in a high stakes game of shinny during NHL Free agency that he feels he has a lot to prove after his worst season in the league last year with the Jets.
“We’ve got a lot of pride as hockey players, and, obviously, things didn’t go the right way for me last year,” said Setoguchi. “It was tough for me to sit here all summer and watch things go on and everybody signing.
Setoguchi, a former reliable 20+ goalscorer earlier in his career wants to prove that he can still find the back of the net and fill a needed role on an NHL roster at this stage of his career.
“(I’ve got) the chance to come in and prove I can still be the player that I once was before and have a lot of resiliency this year and have a bounce-back.”
Flames GM Brad Treliving told the Sun that he hopes that the team can benefit from a one year “prove it” type of deal for Setoguchi, getting good value for an experienced player who is hopefully motivated to have a comeback career that would make his relatively small $750,000 contract for the 2014/15 a value bargain.
“I think he’s a player who, in a lot of ways, is at the crossroads of his career and has realized that he needs to really try to dig in here and re-establish his career,” Treliving said. “We think it’s a good fit, and ultimately the way the contract is structured, it’s a mitigated risk and there’s some upside here.
“Just talking to him and spending some time with him, I think he’s a motivated player.”
The deal for Setoguchi to Calgary could work out in several ways but it most likely could turn out to be a quick stop for Setoguchi if he performs well enough to get a final $1 million plus contract in his NHL career as it appears the Flames are looking for a one season bargain that may lead to some value. Setoguchi could be too far on the downturn to find his former stride in the end, but the Flames will be gambling on the former Sharks linemate of Joe Thornton to prove the rest of the league wrong this year.