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Engelland honoured to wear an 'A'

The defenceman will act as an alternate captain in Troy Brouwer's absence

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY, AB -- An extra 'A' has attached itself to Deryk Engelland.

As in 'alternate captain. 

With Calgary Flames forward Troy Brouwer listed as week-to-week with a broken finger, Engelland picked up the added responsibility of wearing a letter on his chest in Tuesday's 6-3 win at the Colorado Avalanche.

He'll keep the 'A' until Brouwer's return.

"I walked in and saw it," Engelland started.

"I saw it and I was like, 'What the [heck]?'

"I realized Brouw's is out, but it's kind of a shock. You don't plan on wearing it or anything. You don't want the guys who do have one to be out of the game.

"But to come in and see it is huge."

It is well deserved, too. 

Flames captain Mark Giordano would know.

"Guys like him are tough to find," Giordano said. "He plays a big role. Defensively he's great and on the penalty kill he's been huge for us. He's an intimidating guy out there. He sticks up for all of us, makes us all feel a bit bigger when we're on the ice. They're really hard to find.

"He doesn't say much, but when he says something guys listen. 

"The screaming and yelling thing only goes so far in the room. He doesn't say much. But when he does … his job, he goes out there and if there's anything going on out there he sticks up for us. That commands a lot of respect from teammates.

"He doesn't have to say much. He leads more by action.

"But when he needs to, for sure he does." 

Engelland, in the final season of a three-year contract signed on July 1, 2014, has brought much more than a one-goal, six-assist stat line would suggest.

The 34-year-old leads all Calgary defencemen with 71 hits, and is second on the team with 62 blocked shots. Engelland is also second only to Giordano in shorthanded ice time, averaging 3:25 of penalty kill time per game. 

His plus-eight rating? Tied with Giordano and Matthew Tkachuk for the team lead.

Naturally, he also leads the Flames with six fighting majors.

As such, the letter comes naturally to Engelland.

"We don't make those decisions … the players do," Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan outlined.

"He's been a leader in that locker room. He's stepped up for a lot of guys this year and stepped up for our team.

"That wasn't a decision that the coaches had to deliberate over. The players make those decisions on how they act and how they perform and how they approach every day.

"He certainly earned it."

Others did too, suggested Engelland.

And in true leadership fashion, the 6-foot-2, 214-pound rearguard didn't feel the need to single himself out as the only candidate. 

"It's nice to get, but there's a lot of guys in here that could've got it," he said. 

"Staj.

"Wides.

"Brods.

"Guys like that. 

"To get it is nice but everyone can chip in at any time. I think we do a good job."

It'll be needed without Brouwer. 

Though he will remain with the team, Brouwer won't be on the ice.

Leaving a void to fill.

"He's a big voice in the locker room," Engelland said. "The way he competes on the ice … guys follow. We've got guys in here that will step up and play bigger roles.

"And I've got to step up and try to help gain what's missing from losing Troy."

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