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Lundmark hopes to close on permanent NHL home

Monday, 01.11.2010 / 4:23 PM / NHL Insider

By Todd Kimberley - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Jamie Lundmark has a new nickname, courtesy of Jarome Iginla — "The Closer."

At the same time, Lundmark wishes he could close the deal on his yo-yo act between the minors and "The Show."

In his second call-up of his ninth professional season, Lundmark has again flashed the calling card he's been carrying with the Calgary Flames for the last two years — a penchant for timely, important goals.

Saturday night at Vancouver's GM Place, Lundmark notched the tying goal, then beat Roberto Luongo on a fabulous backhand move for the shootout clincher as the Flames beat their Northwest Division nemesis, 3-2.

"When I've come up (from the AHL) the past couple of years, it's being put into a role where I help the team as much as I can," Lundmark said prior to the Flames' Monday home game against the Colorado Avalanche. "I'm not going to get away from that. If I come up and play well, and fit in and contribute the way I think I can contribute, other things will happen. I can't get frustrated with (being unable to stick). I've just got to keep playing hard, coming out every night, being consistent."

Lundmark, a former first-round pick (No. 9) of the New York Rangers, has put up eye-catching numbers for his limited NHL ice time this season. He's got 2 goals, including the game-winner on Nov. 27 at Detroit, and 2 assists in eight games. He's also scored the deciding goal in two of the Flames' three shootout wins in 2009-10 — Saturday against the Canucks, and Nov. 28 at Columbus.

Last season, he posted 8 goals and 8 assists in 27 games with Calgary, nearly all of them after being summoned Feb. 20 and staying in the Stampede City.

Lundmark also has shown chemistry and aptitude as the left-winger for Iginla and Olli Jokinen, a position that has been a veritable revolving door since Jokinen arrived in a March trade.

But Flames head coach Brent Sutter suggested Monday that there's still a good reason for Lundmark having spent the majority of this winter with the AHL's Abbotsford Heat.

"Jamie's done a good job. When he was up earlier (for six games in late November), he played well for us, and the two games he's played so far (during this stint), he's played well," Sutter said. "But we need that from Jamie, and that shouldn't be a surprise to us. It shouldn't be a surprise to him or his teammates.

"We need him to play well, and give us what he can. He's a skilled player, and his work ethic needs to be at a high standard that allows his skills to flourish. As a team, we want our players to be consistent. We expect that from you when you're here, and you should expect that from yourself, too."

Lundmark has played 267 career NHL games, but nearly half of them came during his first two years of pro with the Blueshirts, between 2002 and '04. Since then, he's bounced around with Phoenix, Los Angeles, the KHL's Moscow Dynamo and Calgary, during a previous 51-game stint as a Flame.

"There's different timelines for every player. You've got guys who come out of junior at 18-years-old, and come in and score 60, 70 points. You've got guys that develop in the minors for a few years that can play," Lundmark said.

"When I've come up (from the AHL) the past couple of years, it's being put into a role where I help the team as much as I can. I'm not going to get away from that. If I come up and play well, and fit in and contribute the way I think I can contribute, other things will happen. I can't get frustrated with (being unable to stick). I've just got to keep playing hard, coming out every night, being consistent." -- Jamie Lundmark

"For me, as a younger player, I think I was on teams where I didn't learn a lot. It took me a few more years to grow. Obviously, now, I think I've learned a lot. I've played for a lot of different teams. I've played for a lot of different coaches. I've learned a lot of different things, and it's certainly helping me now."

Lundmark is certainly enjoying himself more than he did during his last summons in mid-December. Afflicted with a possible case of stomach flu, or food poisoning, Lundmark spent a wretched night in his Calgary hotel room, called the club's medical staff in the morning, and returned to Abbotsford. His recall didn't even qualify as an official transaction.

"I couldn't do anything about it. I was in my (hotel) bed ... I couldn't even move. That's the way it was," Lundmark told the Calgary Herald. "It was obviously bad luck. And bad timing.

"Felt great that night. Felt great on the plane. But I ate a sandwich in the Abbotsford airport . . . it could have been that. I don't know what it was."


I was in there icing my face as she was trying to push a baby out.

— Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf on going to the hospital with a facial laceration while his wife was in labor following Game 1 on Wednesday