CALGARY, AB -- The deadline is looming, both for the Calgary Flames and Raphael Diaz.
NHL teams will need to have their 23-man roster sorted in short order, with the regular season kicking off in a couple of days, and the Flames are going to need to decide what direction they're going on the blueline.
The Flames currently have nine rearguards remaining in camp: Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Kris Russell, Deryk Engelland, Tyler Wotherspoon, Ladislav Smid, Dennis Wideman, Corey Potter, and Diaz.
The 28-year-old is attending training camp on a try-out agreement, faring extremely well in the highly-competitive atmosphere.
He has outlasted every other player who came in on a try-out agreement, including veterans Sheldon Brookbank and Nolan Yonkman.
He has pushed himself ahead of several young blueliners, who are now in Glens Falls with the Adirondack Flames.
And while the clock is ticking, patience, according to Diaz, is paramount in this situation.
"It's important. It's such a big business and you have to have patience. There's two more days," he smiled.
"I'm really happy that I'm still here. We still have some time. I want to have something and of course I want to stay here."
Diaz ended up playing in four exhibition games with the Flames, picking up four assists.
"I tried to give everything. It's a new team, I know a few players, but it everything new. New system, new coaching staff, everything.
"I played a couple games and I was really happy with what I did. Of course, you can always do better but like, I said, it's a lot of new things. Of course I want to be better and better."
Diaz has 145 NHL games on his resume, with six goals and 45 points in that span. He has also dressed for nine playoff games, split between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers.