CALGARY, AB -- Calgary Flames head coach had one piece of advice for rookie Sven Baertschi this week.
"I told Sven, 'Be Sven,'" Hartley said. "I'm not asking him to carry the team.
"We're all with Sven. I told him, 'Give us what you can,' and at his young age, I think that he can give us a lot."
Baertschi and Hartley were constantly communicating throughout training camp, with the bench boss explaining systems to the youngster while Baertschi wouldn't hesitate to ask for clarification on drills. That communication, according to the forward, is crucial for his development.
"He's trying to help me out. He told me before camp, 'I'm going to be hard on you. I want you to learn things. I'm going to watch you the whole practice.'
"I'd rather have it that way than he never says anything. I can learn ... he sees what I’m doing out there and wants to have it perfect out there. I think that’s good."
Hartley has been particularly impressed with Baertschi's zest for the game. The smile he sported when he made his NHL debut last season appears to still be plastered across his face and he enjoys every aspect of the game.
"With Sven, it's the enjoyment of the game. You always look at him and he always has a smile. The kid loves to come to the rink. He brings lots of passion, lots of fire and excitement to the game. For a team, you always need that new blood to spark the team."
The coaching staff has Baertschi skating on the second line with Mike Cammalleri and Mikael Backlund. The trio has come together nicely throughout training camp and the chemistry between Baertschi and Backlund was almost instantaneous. The rookie credits their similar style of play for their success in camp.
"I think we think the same way out there. We kind of play the same way. It makes a lot of things easier out there. He's a hard working guy, he makes the right plays almost every time.
"He makes my life easy out there. We think the same way so we always have support, we always find the pucks, we find the open areas and we get scoring chances."
Cammalleri sees the rookie being an impact player for the club.
"Sven's got that kind of X factor in his game, that dynamic skill set that allows him to make plays, create stuff, when maybe it doesn't look like there is much going on."