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Chiasson set to see Senators

Alex Chiasson is ready to face off against his former team on Friday

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY, AB -- Brian Elliott, both at home and on the road, attracted plenty of fanfare in facing his former team of five years for the first time.

Alex Chiasson caught the up-close look.

But Chiasson, who is set to suit up opposite the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday, doesn't expect his first game against his former crew to be quite as noisy.

"I don't think so," Chiasson said.

"I don't know how long Brian was in St. Louis for, but probably much longer than I was in Ottawa. Not to take away anything from myself, but his impact on the team in St. Louis was probably a lot more than mine in Ottawa.

"Great organization. Great group of guys.

"Just didn't work out for me on the ice."

The game will still bear significance.

Chiasson's two-year tenure with the Senators came to a close on Jun. 27, when he was acquired by the Flames in exchange for defenceman Patrick Sieloff.

The trade ended the 153-game marriage that saw him net just 19 goals and 40 points -- particularly disappointing digits after being the focal point in a trade that saw Ottawa option longtime franchise centre Jason Spezza to the Dallas Stars.

Chiasson had 19 goals in 86 games to start his career with the Stars.

The game will still hold meaning for the Montreal native, though.

"It's always a little special playing previous teams," Chiasson said. "I know when I was in Ottawa it was kind of special and weird to play Dallas. I'm assuming it'll be the same [Friday]. For me, it's kind of another game. I have a good amount of friends on that team, but when the game starts it's a game day just like any other day.

"That's part of pro hockey, really."

But Friday's game will feature a bit more juice from the 26-year-old.

Glen Gulutzan, who had Chiasson as a rookie in Dallas, expects it.

"I hope so, yeah, I do," Gulutzan said.

"I think it will. But I don't think I have to ask much. I think (Chiasson) has brought good juice in the eight games he's played.

"Hopefully he pots a couple for himself."

Gulutzan has put Chiasson in a position to do so.

Literally.

After starting the season on the fourth line, the right winger has graduated to the shotgun position with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau.

It's all a recipe for success for the rebuilding forward.

A fresh city.

A familiar coach.

A new opportunity. 

"I think it's been decently good," said Chiasson, who is one goal into his time with the Flames.

"I know that it'd be nice to be on the score sheet a little more, but at the same time it's a process of trying to stay focused mentally on that, do the good things and the rest of the stuff is going to come. If I keep playing with those two guys, I think I can bring an element to that line that they don't have, and they can just play.

"It's been a good relationship with (Gulutzan) … good discussions on different things to work on and what to apply to the game. It's a process of building my game to a certain level.

"Assuming if things go the way that I want to and things are going well, then I can help this team and be a productive player."

It's where Gulutzan is slowly building Chiasson after a tumultuous time with the Senators.

It'll take some time.

And confidence.

"It's confidence for young guys," he started.

"He was part of a big trade that sent him to Ottawa and he was a key piece in that trade. There's pressure, as you know, in Canadian markets. Sometimes you don't get off to the start in a new place. We all know how well he played in Dallas. You can look back and see.

"Sometimes it just takes a fresh start and a new approach. He's built himself from the bottom up. He started on the fourth line and he's working his way.

"Sometimes that's all it takes to rekindle a guy."

And sometimes, seeing where you've been will help you get to where you're going.

Chiasson will find out Friday.

Against Ottawa.

"It's the business," he said.

"There's things you don't control. Great organization. I really appreciated playing there. It just didn't work out for me on the ice. Now my focus is on this team. I think the role I've had so far this year is to help this team play a certain way.

"That's all really I can focus on, is my play and the play of our team so far."

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