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Bouma aiming for strong pre-season

After a injury-plagued 2015-16 campaign, Lance Bouma is pushing for a strong pre-season heading into the 2016-17 season

by Torie Peterson @ToriePeterson /

WINNIPEG, MB -- If it were possible, Lance Bouma would wipe the 2015-16 season from his memory.

Expectations for the winger were high after he posted a career-high 16 goals and 34 points the year prior but his season was derailed by a multitude of injuries throughout the course of the 2015-16 campaign.

In total, he would dress for 44 games last year, scoring just two goals and seven points.

"Last year, was a disappointing year. A frustrating year all around," the 26-year-old said. "It's nice to put it behind me and have a fresh start. I'm looking forward to the start of this season for sure."

That fresh start begins tonight when suits up for the Flames pre-season tilt with the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre (6:00 PM MT, Sportsnet 960 The FAN).

Given the circumstances and how last season went, Bouma's mindset heading into this year's slate of exhibition skates is a bit different than years prior.

"You want to get back into game shape as quickly as possible. I'm using (the pre-season) as gearing up for the regular season," he explained. "Last year was disappointing so this pre-season is really big for me."

He's set to start on a line with Freddie Hamilton and Garnet Hathaway this evening and the trio are aiming to inject a spark into a lineup that has quite a few players skating in their second game in as many nights.

"I played with both of them before, last year, and they're both good players and hard workers so it's going to be a lot of fun," Bouma said.

"It's the second night of a back-to-back so obviously guys are a little tired so (we want to) bring some energy and play my game. I think that's the biggest thing. The guys played hard last night and it obviously wasn't the outcome we wanted. But tonight's another night and guys are looking forward to it."

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