Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Calvert is more than a third-liner. He has a role to play — heart and sole kind of guy.
Colorado Avalanche third line forward Matt Calvert isn’t going to challenge Mikko Rantanen or Nathan MacKinnon for top spot on the team. That’s not his role with the Avs. He’s a heart and soul kind of guy.
Does that sound like someone else you know? Maybe a couple guys from our past? I’m thinking of Blake Comeau and Cody McLeod.
When the Avalanche signed Calvert to a three-year contract worth $8,550,000 total, the understanding was that the 28-year-old forward was replacing the 32-year-old Comeau. Indeed, the coaching staff slotted him right into the third line with Carl Soderberg and Matthew Nieto, Comeau’s old linemates.
The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Calvert has a bit of speed and stick skill, though nothing on the high-end side. Though not big, he’s also not afraid to get into the corners.
And, as we expected of Comeau, Calvert’s not shy with the physical play either. There have been several examples along the way already this season, but the most famous was his… altercation with the Detroit Red Wings bench.
To be honest, Matt Calvert taking on the Detroit Red Wings bench:
reminded me of that time Cody McLeod did Dallas:
Tyler Bertuzzi received a two-game suspension for that bit of dirty play.
It was indeed at that time, that Calvert started reminding us of that other heart and soul kind of guy, Cody McLeod. Our old Highlander had less high-end skill even than Calvert. But he wore the A as alternate captain for several seasons because of the spirit he brought to the team.
You knew what side of the burgundy and blue you were on with McLeod. And if it was the wrong side, well, he made you pay.
I can’t say that Calvert is quite that level of tough guy. I think the team expects him to contribute a little more offensively than we ever expected of McLeod. Well, not a ton more. Calvert’s career-high in points is 24, compared to McLeod’s 20, though Matt reached his 24 three times compared to Cody’s one.
Comeau has a higher ceiling, but the way. He’s broken the 30-point mark a few times and even recorded a 45-point season.
But, Matt Calvert brings this:
So, I think Matt Calvert is supposed to be a hybrid between Cody McLeod and Blake Comeau, with a good splash of his own style.
In the modern NHL, there’s no place for the goons of yesteryear, the kind of players whose only talent was in fighting and other rough stuff. I think every team needs a heart and soul kind of guy. He’s the man who’s not afraid to pay the price physically in the name of team. However, he’s also the kind of man who’s not afraid to make opponents pay physically in the same name.
That’s what the Colorado Avalanche have in Matt Calvert.