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Flames Today: 13.09.10

by Kristi Hennessy / Calgary Flames

The Flames Update is a compilation of notes, quotes, anecdotes, audio and video that keeps you in touch with your team. It appears several times each week.

 September 13, 2010

Morning Skate

Flames prospects took to the ice for their first skate in Penticton before their first game tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.

The group of prospects separated into three groups after kicking off with some standard drills to get warmed up. One group of forwards worked on shots from the top of the circle and getting rebounds to the back of the net. One smaller group worked on face-offs at centre ice while the blue-liners worked on blocking shots and picking up rebounds and breaking out of the zone.

Matt Keetley will get the start in net tonight. Game time is 5 pm MTN.

Feeling Confident
It would be safe to say that John Negrin is considered to be one of the veteran defensemen at this year’s prospect camp. Negrin was drafted in the third round in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

“Definitely feeling a little more confident as one of the older guys here and able to help out the young guys and try to be a leader,” said Negrin.

Negrin played just 45 games in his professional debut with the Abbotsford Heat last season before suffering a season ending knee injury. Despite the short season and set back, Negrin still feels that he was able to grow tremendously as a player at the pro level.

 “It’s a long season and there are ups and downs,” said Negrin. “You have to really find your game and learn to be a pro.”

Knee surgery marks Negrin’s first serious injury. He had to face a challenging rehab in a fairly short time if he was going to be able to be 100% come training camp time.

 “My main goal was to be ready for this camp so I moved to Calgary and have worked really hard to get to where I am,” said Negrin. “Coming in this year I feel really good. I feel strong, I feel confident and just excited to get started.

“It feels good to be healthy and I’m very happy to be back and playing.”

Don't forget the Flames

The Edmonton Oilers are the talk of the town right now and around the NHL. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi are the three amigos in the spotlight leaving other Canadian teams like Calgary and Vancouver in the shadows. With that said, there is still a lot of good prospects and talent on the Flames roster and we can’t forget to take a look at what we’ve got right in front of us.

“We have a good team here with a lot of good young guys," said Flames forward and highly-rated prospect Mikael Backlund. “We didn’t have any top draft picks this year so they signed a lot of older free agent guys from junior. Guys like Carter Bancks, Lance Bouma and Mitch Wahl came to us at the end of the year in Abbotsford and did a really good job for us in the playoffs. I think we have a lot of depth and a good team here.”

Although there may not be as much hype about the Flames prospects as the Edmonton Oilers, there are still a lot of players who were dominating last season on their junior teams and will be under the scope to see if they have what it takes to make the leap and open some eyes.

“We don’t think about it too much,” said winger Greg Nemisz. “We’re here to win some games and we’re excited about the team we have here. We see a lot of it (hype) on TV but we try not to look too much into it.”

Nemisz played alongside Hall for the past couple of seasons with the Windsor Spitfires (OHL). He knows firsthand all about Hall’s “rock star” status so isn’t too shocked of his spotlight.

“He gets it pretty bad but he handles it well,” Nemisz smirked. “Especially the last two years when people started to realize how special of a talent he is.”

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