Everyone loves a feel good story, and I am no exception.
Twenty-eight year old Jamie Lundmark is in his second stint with the Calgary Flames, and these days the Edmonton product is playing some of the best hockey of his pro career. The road back to regular duty in the NHL has been quite a journey for Lundmark, a first-round pick of the New York Rangers, ninth overall in 1999. A two time member of Canada's World Junior Team in 2000 and 2001. This young man probably didn't think he would be fighting for his NHL life at this point of his career.
Right now Jamie Lundmark is not only fighting the good fight, he is on the verge of taking his game to the level many thought would be attainable just over a decade ago. In 15 games with the Flames this season, Lundmark who signed as a free agent July 16th has accounted for 11 points. Three of his five goals have come in the last week and they have been large ones. How about the two third period goals in Detroit which paved the way to a 6-5 shoot out triumph over the defending Stanley Cup Champs?
Wednesday night against the Dallas Stars, Lundmark 's wrister to the top shelf against Dallas tied the game. The tally was scored with authority, it blew the water bottle apart and set the Flames on the right track for a very important 2-1 win.
This stretch, one could say is somewhat similar to the 12 games he played here with the Flames in the 05-06 season, in which he notched 10 points in 12 games, but I get the feeling this is different. Jamie Lundmark has been through alot. A ton. Not living up to some people's expectations when you want it more than anything weighs on you. It has to. Lundmark even found himself last season playing 17 games with Moscow Dynamo of the Continental Hockey League before returning to the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters.
How easy was that? If you have ever been to Russia, with the language barrier and frankly just a very different way of life, what a challenge that must have been, not only for Jamie but his entire family.
I have been watching Lundmark since he was a 16-year-old star of the AJHL's St Albert Saints.
Good hands great shot, could always score. This fine gentleman is a perfect illustration of just how tough it can be to perform in the NHL on a regular basis.
Right now Jamie Lundmark looks like he is here to stay. Stay in the NHL. And I couldn't be happier for him.
Peter Loubardias is the play-by-play man on Sportsnet West Calgary Flames broadcasts