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Troy Brouwer builds strong connection with Flames

Forward signs multiyear contract with Calgary, where he is building home

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

CALGARY -- Forward Troy Brouwer already was a few months into construction on a house in the city's southwest when the Calgary Flames called early in the NHL free agent process.

The 30-year-old felt the fit was natural following meetings with Calgary general manager Brad Treliving and signed a multiyear contract with the Flames on Friday. Terms were not released, but TSN reported it is a four-year contract worth $18 million, an average annual value of $4.5 million.

"We started thinking about moving to Calgary about a year ago," said Brouwer, who has family from Vancouver and Saskatchewan. "When we played Calgary in March, I think it was, we met with a builder and checked out a couple potential building sites and then it just kind of worked out … I think on Saturday or Sunday I got a call from my agent saying Calgary was very interested.

"We told them we were already in town and came in for a meeting with Brad and were blown away by the meeting we had with him, where he saw me within the team, where he saw the team going. ... It really worked out in our favor. You're planning on making this your home and you end up working here as well."

Brouwer had 18 goals and 39 points in 82 games with the St. Louis Blues last season, in line with what he's produced in his previous six seasons in the NHL. Since 2009-10, he's scored from 17 to 25 goals and had 33 to 43 points.

Brouwer, who won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, had eight goals during the Blues' run to the Western Conference Final last season, one more than he scored in all six of his previous trips to the playoffs, and finished with 13 points, five more than his previous best in one playoff year.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound right wing checks off a lot of boxes, Treliving said.

"We had what we felt were two specific needs that we were looking for going into free agency," he said. "One was addressing a positional need in terms of the right wing position, but also the profile of the type of person we were looking for. We're ecstatic to get Troy, a proven playoff performer, a veteran in this league that will not only add size and offensive ability, but leadership, character, and a presence in our dressing room."

Treliving's second signing Friday helped close Calgary's other need. The Flames added goaltender Chad Johnson on a one-year contract reportedly worth $1.7 million one week after acquiring goalie Brian Elliott in a draft day trade from the Blues.

Video: Newly acquired forward Troy Brouwer

"It's been talked at length over the course of the last few months as we ended last season … in the last week or so, being able to add Brian Elliott and now being able to add Chad Johnson to our goaltending position has solidified and strengthened that position on our team," Treliving said.

Calgary finished fifth in the Pacific Division last season, and allowed an NHL-high 257 goals despite finishing 11th in shots-against per game (29.0).

Treliving opted to move away from each of his four goaltenders used last season -- Karri Ramo, Jonas Hiller, Niklas Backstrom or Joni Ortio -- who combined for a League-worst .898 save percentage.

They are replaced by Elliott, who, among goalies with at least 50 games played since 2011-12, ranks first in goals-against average (2.01) and second in save percentage (.925), and Johnson, who was 22-16-1 with a 2.36 goals against average and .920 save percentage in 45 games with the Buffalo Sabres last season.

"I just had a couple talks with Brad and for me, it was the opportunity was the biggest thing, coming in here and being able to add value to the goaltending situation, to compete," said Johnson, who was born in Saskatoon and grew up in Calgary.

"For me the hometown thing was there, but I think the opportunity and how much I felt trusted by Brad's communication with me and the direction the team is going was huge for me. There's a comfort level, I think, you look for in a team and organization and for me this was a great fit all around."

Treliving said each fit well with what he's building.

"They see where our team's at," Treliving said. "We're all disappointed with how things went last year. We've addressed some areas that we think needed some addressing. The people that are coming in here, these are men that expect and want to have results and want this team to have results.

"We're excited to have them."

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