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Chiasson feeling more comfortable in Calgary

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers /

CALGARY, AB --  Alex Chiasson is taking strides at getting comfortable in his new digs.

After making the move from the Ottawa Senators to the Calgary Flames in June, the newcomer is starting to feel a little more at home.

"I think it's a challenge for myself to just come in and get used to a new team, but also a new system," he said. "I guess everyone's getting used to it. It would be a little more advantageous for me to get used to all of that. It's part of pre-season, trying to get your legs underneath and feed off some of the guys.

"But overall I think it's been good and I think you can tell some improvement in our game from the first game or practices as we go on."

Chiasson was acquired from the Senators in exchange for defenceman Patrick Sieloff on June 27, reuniting him in Calgary with coach Glen Gulutzan.

As members of the Dallas Stars, Gulutzan coached Chiasson -- 22 at the time -- in his first seven NHL games.

Chiasson scored six goals.

He's scored 32 in the 232 games that have followed.

"Certainly with a guy who maybe in the last couple years hasn't been to the spots he wants to be, you just want to build their confidence up and make sure that they get back to adding a little bit more of that offensive flair they've shown in the past in the league," Gulutzan said. "That's just a process with Alex, but I like where he's started because he's a safe player.

That building continues Sunday.

Chiasson, 26, is slated to skate as the veteran on a line with 18-year-old Matthew Tkachuk and 20-year-old Sam Bennett when the Flames host the Winnipeg Jets at Scotiabank Saddledome (7:00 PM MT; SN960).

"I think it's exciting," Chiasson said. "It's a good opportunity to play with those two guys. Sam is a skilled forward. He's shown what he's capable of doing the last two pre-season games. I've been impressed the way he plays. Matty has been pretty impressive as well for a young guy coming in.

"I just have to go out there and play and have some fun with it."

The responsibility is a reward, and another step towards getting Chiasson comfortable.

"I thought Alex, his last game, his showed some spurts of how I remember him," Gulutzan said. "He's getting comfortable here a little bit, in the good sense of trying to feel his way around the locker room and the new guys. 

"I just see him being a real good fit with that big body and the strength on the puck. I haven't seen as much of it as I have in the past but I know it's there with him. Next week with all the players we're going to sit down and have a role identity, but certainly to have a big body, strength … he always makes the safe play.

"He's a real trustworthy player. If you watch him along the walls he always gets pucks in or gets pucks out. He doesn't make many mistakes out there."

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