MAKING THE MOST OF HIS OPPORTUNITY
Pivot Paul Byron
will be making his Flames debut tonight in Calgary and it won't be a low-key affair the 22 year-old. He's been placed in between veteran wingers Alex Tanguay
and Rene Bourque - a role that will draw a lot of attention to the Ottawa native.
"I'm pretty excited," he said after the pre-game skate. "It's not too often two good players like that. I want to use it to my advantage and make the most of the opportunity.
"I just need to skate hard and get in open areas. I know those guys will find me. I just need to compete hard."
He'll also be under the microscope for another reason. At 5-foot-9 and a 170 lbs, Byron's small stature has made some say he's just too small to play in the NHL. He vehemently disagrees and counters by listing a few assets that he has over big-bodied players.
"I bring a lot of speed and I think I up the levels of all the guys on the team by how hard I compete - seeing such a small guy battling hard."
Byron, who was acquired in the Robyn Regehr trade with Buffalo, has attended NHL training camps before but this is the first time he feels like he is in a position to battle for a roster spot. He knows exactly what he needs to do tonight in order to catch management's eye.
"I just need to establish my game out there. Bring a great work ethic, compete hard, lots of stops and starts, finish checks and just move the puck to the guys on my wing."QUOTABLE
"I really concentrated on my legs this summer. I think it's one thing to feel quicker but now I have to get my game legs back and make sure I turn it into feeling quicker out there in a game, getting to loose pucks when I need to. In a game, it's a lot about reading the play and reacting to turnovers or loose pucks. I've got to get that back quick." - Matt Stajan
on what he expects of himself tonight
"Last year, for whatever reason, I couldn't reach a contract with Florida. I went over to Russia and did my thing there. Now I'm back and I'm fully focused on making this club." - Defenceman Jordan HenryPROJECTED LINES FOR THE FLAMES IN CALGARY
Tanguay - Byron - Bourque
Howse - Bouma - Jackman
Kostopoulos - Jokinen - Nemisz
Elson - Stajan - Stempniak
Hannan - Giordano
Henry - Mikkelson
Brodie - Martin
Kiprusoff/KarlssonFollow Torie Peterson on Twitter | @ToriePeterson