|(Source: Wikipedia user Resolute)|
This week's subject is a 2009-10 Calgary Flame: #15, Nigel Dawes.
Nigel Dawes was, in my mind, an underrated signing by Darryl Sutter in the 2009 offseason. The Flames were coming off of a then-routine first-round exit, this time to the Blackhawks, and top goal-scorer Mike Cammalleri had departed in free-agency to Montreal. So, the Flames needed goal-scoring. So, they made a bunch of moves in the offseason and throughout the season to try and neutralize this loss.
These moves included a massive trade in the middle of the season that at first seemed like a steal for Toronto but over the years has started to lean back towards Calgary's favour. They got guys like Fredrik Sjostrom, Aaron Johnson, Anton Stralman and Staffan Kronwall, none of whom played more than 50 games or scored more than 1 goal in the season. They got Steve Staios for Johnson, and he proceeded to be slow (although he did score an awesome goal to keep the Flames' playoff hopes alive), and they traded away Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust for 12 games of Chris Higgins. They even acquired Vesa Toskala from Anaheim for now-Blue Jacket backup Curtis McElhinney, and they traded Dustin Boyd for a fourth (Bill Arnold).
None of those moves turned out well, really (although the jury's still out on the Boyd trade). In fact, the only move that worked out well for the Flames in the entire season (except for the Bouwmeester trade) was the Nigel Dawes waiver claim.
Dawes was claimed off of waivers by the Flames from the Coyotes on July 16, 2009, and then was promptly signed to a 2-year deal worth $875,000 a year. So, in other words, dirt cheap.
The diminutive, 5'8" winger proceeded to have a banner year for the Flames, tying his career-high in goals with 14, and adding another 18 assists for a grand total of 32 points, a new career high. Extrapolating his stats in his 66-game season to a full, 82-game campaign, that's a 40-point season.
After his great 2009-10 season in which he finished fifth on the Flames in points and tied for fourth in goals, he took part in 13 further games split between Atlanta and Montreal, in which he amassed one, singular point - an assist. He was never heard from in the NHL again.