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2013 Flames Training Camp Guide: Forward Fight

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


    Though there are a handful of Calgary Flames forwards who can rest easy as a lock heading into training camp, there are plenty of players who won't sleep comfortably as the rebuilding process begins to take form.

    With a youthful contingent ready to make an impact at the National Hockey League level and only so many roster spots available, Calgary's camp has the opportunity to provide plenty of surprises as to what the Flames' lineup may resemble when the puck drops on the 2013-14 season.

    Eleven players remain on one-way contracts, but with financial flexibility and a commitment to working younger players into the rotation, few spots are guaranteed.


    Mike Cammalleri
    Left Wing  - CGY
    Goals: 13 | Assists: 19 | Pts: 32
    Shots: 102 | +/-: -15
    Mike Cammalleri - The most lethal offensive weapon at the disposal of coach Bob Hartley, Cammalleri will be counted on to provide the type of offense that he brought during his 39-goal campaign during his first tour with the Flames.

    He's scored 24 goals in 72 games since returning to Calgary a year and a half ago and finished with a share of the team lead alongside Lee Stempniak in 2012-13 with 32 points. His 13 goals in 44 games was second only to Curtis Glencross' 15, too.

    The veteran is entering the year in the final season of a five year, $30 million contract, so there's plenty on the line for the 31-year-old Cammalleri, too. Looking to earn a new contract, the assistant captain can help both himself and the Flames with a big contribution.

    Curtis Glencross
    Left Wing  - CGY
    Goals: 15 | Assists: 11 | Pts: 26
    Shots: 92 | +/-: -8
    Curtis Glencross - Glencross, another assistant captain and big part of the Flames' leadership core, will be counted on to replicate the success he's found in Calgary in recent years.

    After back-to-back seasons with 24 and 26 goals respectively, the 30-year-old led Calgary in goals with 15 in 40 games -- a 30 goal pace over a full 82-game schedule.

    Glencross has been dependable in his duration with the Flames, both offensively and in the leadership he provides in the locker room. It's what is both expected and needed from him as the rebuild hits full stride come October.

    Mikael Backlund
    Center  - CGY
    Goals: 8 | Assists: 8 | Pts: 16
    Shots: 88 | +/-: -6
    Mikael Backlund - When healthy, Backlund showed flashes of emerging as the center Calgary hoped to have in making him their first round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, but the 24-year-old hasn't shown the durability to be a top-six forward. When he was in the lineup, though, Backlund was a bright spot at both ends of the ice.

    Offensively, Backlund had eight goals and 16 points in 32 games, a pace that would have established new career bests in both categories over an 82-game schedule. Defensively, the 6-foot, 196-pound pivot earned trust from coach Bob Hartley and in turn added responsibility in his own end.

    With an eye on replicating his campaign a year ago over a full season in 2013-14, Backlund could become Calgary's most important player down the middle.

    Keep an eye on: David Jones, acquired in an offseason deal that saw the departure of Alex Tanguay, will be given an opportunity to return to his 20-goal form. The former Colorado Avalanche winger has hit that plateau twice in his career…Sven Baertschi finished last season on a strong note with a seven-game point streak and will look to carry the momentum over…At times in 2012-13, Roman Horak showed flashes that he was ready to be a regular NHLer. He could be ready to take the final step in making the jump full time.

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