When Calgary approached us last week it was nothing but excitement about their team, about me … there’s a bunch of guys on the team that called me to express how great it would be if it would be Calgary. - Troy Brouwer
Troy Brouwer was in the process of building a summer house in Calgary.
Turns out it'll be home instead.
The right winger signed a multi-year contract with the Calgary Flames just 23 minutes into free agency Friday.
“It’s a phenomenal city,” Brouwer said. “Me and my wife always had intrigue about being here. When Calgary approached us last week it was nothing but excitement about their team, about me … there’s a bunch of guys on the team that called me to express how great it would be if it would be Calgary.”
Brouwer, who turns 31 in August, had 18 goals and 39 points in 82 regular season games, and eight goals and 13 points in 20 playoff games with the St. Louis Blues in 2015-16.
In 613 career NHL games, he's amassed 150 goals, 294 points and 457 penalty minutes, and has recorded at least 17 goals and 33 points in each of the past seven seasons.
“I’ve had some success in my career winning a Stanley Cup and being on some really good hockey teams," said Brouwer, who won with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. "I know a couple of the guys that are already on the team. It’s going to be comfortable for me to come in and try to make the transition. At first there’s always a little bit of a feeling out period, finding where I’ll fit on and off the ice, learning who are the leaders, the vocal leaders and the quiet leaders.
“You want to come in and you want to fit and be comfortable and have everyone else be comfortable with you. There’s going to be a little bit of a transition period but I think with the group of guys there and the guys that I’ve talked to it’s going to be a short transition.”
Those talks include one with Flames captain Mark Giordano.
Conversations extended to defencemen Dennis Wideman and Deryk Engelland, too.
Even Julie Treliving, the wife of Flames general manager Brad Treliving, helped pitch Brouwer and his wife on making Calgary their new home.
“It’s the little things,” he said. “[Treliving]’s wife called my wife to try to answer any questions that she may have had. The excitement level Calgary had in trying to get me to come and making sure that we felt comfortable in our decision really made us feel at home and made us really feel comfortable.
“Teams come and they try have their sales pitch trying to get you to come to the city, selling the team, the direction of the team. It’s a lot to think about. It can be overwhelming. There were times for me when I went to bed and your head is spinning because you’re not really sure what team is going to be the best fit for you, who has the most interest in you, and you never really know until you get to today exactly what interest is going to turn into, to actual offers.
“There’s always that period of uncertainty, but there were a few days where me and my wife looked at each other and were like, ‘I don’t know what would be the best fit.’
"We’re really happy it turned out to be Calgary.”
Brouwer’s new home.
And he couldn’t be happier.
“My family is from Vancouver. My wife’s family is from just outside of Regina,” Brouwer started. “It’s kind of a great place in the middle where we can have family close. We’re a very tight-knit family.
“We wanted to have grandparents and aunts and uncles in our kids’ lives. That’s why Calgary was really intriguing to us. We have a lot of friends here in Calgary. It’s an airport that flies anywhere in the world. It was a lot of things that crossed off our checklist. The people are great here. It’s what made us want to come here and build our summer home, and our retirement home.
“It just worked out the Flames had good interest in me and finally we’re able to come together.”