TAKING THE EASY WAY IN
When Lee Stempniak
was traded to Calgary, he assumed he and his wife would be forced to make a 40 hour drive all the way from New Jersey. Their black lab, Boone, isn't one for flying.
"There was a change in plans," he said sheepishly. "I flew in. My wife and her mother drove the dog up from New Jersey so it was real easy for me.
The timing of the trade turned out to be fortuitous for the winger. The couple had matters to be settled that required one them present and Stempniak needed to get to Calgary to start preparing the season. However, he knows he won't be so lucky next summer.
"I'll definitely be taking the car back at the end of the season. She might fly."
Stempniak's wife is still on speaking terms with him despite the arduous journey west.
"She's adventurous so I think she liked the road trip part of it. They went through Montana and came up through the Glacier National Park and things like that. They made it more into a sightseeing tour than anything so they had fun."
FILLING A VOID ON THE BLUELINE
It's only been just over a month since the Calgary Flames inked veteran defenceman Scott Hannan
to a one-year deal but the 32-year old has already settled in.
"I've been here for a couple of weeks, skating together with the guys and the coaching staff, getting to meet them. It's going to be fun to get going here."
Even though Hannan has gotten to know quite a few of his teammates, skating with them doesn't quite compare to the beginning of training camp.
"It's nothing like the first day. A little bit of competition out there with the testing and stuff so it's fun.
Hannan has 830 NHL contests to his name and over that span of time, he's become known as a premier shutdown blueliner. With Robyn Regehr gone, the Flames will depend on him to provide that kind of presence on the backend.
"I don't think it's going to change too much," he said of his role this seaosn. "I've played in the League for awhile. It's going to be bring some strong defence, some penalty killing and trying to add anything I can to help younger guys. I'm just going to try to fit in any way I can.
"There's some big shoes to fill. He (Regehr) was a big part of the team here. I can come in here and fill in and take some minutes, eat some minutes up and try to play the way I can play."
The Richmond, BC native has been training all summer and is eagerly anticipating getting back into the swing of things in Calgary.
"I feel good. I worked hard all summer. I'm prepared, ready for camp. I didn't know where I would be for awhile there but I'm glad to be here. It's going to be fun playing in front of some passionate fans and I'm ready to get going."
LINES FROM SATURDAY'S SESSIONS Group A
Bourque - Moss - Bancks
Jackman - Stajan - Elson
Hagman - Bouma - Holland
Meyer - Wahl - Cameron/LaingGroup B
Baertschi - Backlund - Iginla
Tanguay - Byron - Kostopoulos
Desbiens - Horak - Howse
Grantham - Armstrong - Severyn/DowlingGroup C
Glencross - Sylvester - Stempniak
Letourneau-Leblond - Walter - Rheault
MacMillan - Patterson - Gal
Ferland - Jokinen - NemiszFollow Torie Peterson on Twitter | @ToriePeterson