Dawes, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has 133 games of NHL experience split between the New York Rangers and the Phoenix Coyotes scoring 25 goals and adding 26 assists for 51 career points. Dawes was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in the 5th round (149th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Dawes, in an interview, suspected he would be placed on waivers by the Phoenix Coyotes. And, when he heard that Calgary was interested, he was more than pleased.
"They were talking about putting me on waivers. It wasn't a shock," Dawes said from his home in Winnipeg. "I was very excited to hear that Calgary had picked me up."
Dawes has previous experience with two of the Flames coaches having won the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship as a member of Team Canada under Brent Sutter and having won the 2002 Memorial Cup with the Kootenay Ice under Ryan McGill.
"It just feels like I have some familiarity," he said, adding he played with Flames Brandon Prust and the recently signed Brian McGrattan in Phoenix last season. "It's a lot closer to home. I have friends there, I want to be in Calgary after this."
Dawes spoke Thursday with both Sutters -- head coach Brent and general manager Darryl.
"I am excited that they picked me up. I have known them before and I am looking forward to getting started in Calgary," said Dawes.
First, though, there is a contract to work out.
Dawes, who is a restricted free agent, was one of 20 players that filed for salary arbitration earlier this month. According to TSN he was reportedly looking for a one-way deal for less than $1 million, but was instead put on waivers by the Coyotes.
His arbitration case with the Flames will be heard next Wednesday but Dawes said he hopes to get something signed, sealed and delivered before then.
"We're going to try and get something worked out. I think that will happen," said Dawes.
As life would have it, Dawes has a golf trip in the Calgary area planned with his father in the next couple of weeks. He may just stop and do some apartment hunting if everything works out.
"It's important to get out there earlier than training camp to get familiar with the surroundings and everything. I will probably head out early and start working out with the guys," he said.
Phoenix acquired Dawes, as well as Dmitri Kalinin and Petr Prucha, for Derek Morris at the trade deadline.
In 64 combined games with the New York Rangers and the Coyotes, Dawes scored 10 goals and 11 assists last season.NIGEL DAWES – LEFT WINGBORN:
Dawes said over the past few years he has been working on his defensive game and feels he can contribute at both ends of the rink -- he had 10 and 14-goal seasons with the Rangers.
"I'd say I am more of an offensive player but I like to use the forecheck and get into the physical areas. I have been working on my defensive game over the last three or four years but I think I can contribute offensively, too," said Dawes.
Winnipeg, MB DATE:
February 9, 1985HEIGHT:
by New York Rangers in the 5th round (149th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry DraftHOW ACQUIRED:
Claimed off waivers on July 16, 2009