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'GO AND GET IT'

Gawdin focused on earning spot with big club after inking new deal with Flames

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

Hockey players and golf go together like peanut butter and jam.

Salt and pepper.

Macaroni and cheese.

Snow in Calgary and the month October.

Not all of them, though. 

For Glenn Gawdin, life in this topsy-turvy Covid-19 world led him down an unlikely 'cart' path to a newfound passion on the fairways. 

"I've been golfing a lot, to be honest," answered Gawdin from his home in Vancouver, when asked what he's been doing off the ice to keep busy the past six months. "And I'm sure that's no surprise me being a hockey player but I was never a golfer, to be honest. It was the last thing that I wanted to do. I had no interest in it. But I guess Covid happened and I picked it up and I started to enjoy it.

"I've been doing it quite a bit - I'm actually going today as well. It's sunny over here. I know it's not too sunny in Calgary. I'm using it up as much as I can."

So perhaps he's got a career on tour if this whole hockey thing doesn't work out?

"I think I've got a lot of work to do before we can talk about that," he laughed.

 

 

Besides, the only thing on his mind right now - a goal that's been front-and-centre for as long as he can remember - is becoming an everyday NHLer.

"It's exciting," said Gawdin Wednesday, after the Flames announced he had inked a one-year, two-way deal. "Obviously it's my second deal and I'm glad to get it done. Feeling very excited and happy, and excited to get the season going, whenever that's going to be."

The 6-foot-1, 190-lb. centre led the Stockton Heat in scoring last season with 16 goals and 47 points in 53 games, earning himself a spot in the AHL all-star game.

With 85 points in 117 games for the Heat - and an increased confidence and familiarity at the professional level now - the 22-year-old's sights are firmly set on donning the Flaming C and making the Scotiabank Saddledome his permanent place of business. 

"That's my goal," said Gawdin, "and there's some spots there now. My goal and focus coming into camp is I'm going to try and take one of them.

"I put myself in the position last year to kind of turn some heads and I think it's up to me now to go and get it."

 

 

Originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 2015 and signed as a free agent by the Flames in 2017, Gawdin has spent the last few seasons addressing the areas he knew he needed to improve on to make the leap to the NHL. 

"I think a big thing for me was foot speed," he explained. "The speed aspect of the game, because of the way the game is going, you're going to have to skate and be fast. I've put a lot of work into that aspect of my game and I think it's helped. 

"Along with that, it's just being consistent. I think at the professional level you have to be consistent and, obviously at the NHL level, you have to do it to a 'T'. I mean, every night you have to come in and play and do what you do. I feel like the last two years I've progressed in that aspect and I hope I can keep that going."

 

 

While golf has been a welcome distraction during the longest off-season Gawdin has likely had since he was on bob skates, he's made sure to stick to his normal routine as best he can.   

"For me, it's simple," he explained. "I'm a hockey player and if we're not playing games, I'm getting ready to play games. So, for me, that's the focus. 

"These circumstances are different but I'm just trying to stay in good shape and get ready for the season when it comes. I'm staying on the ice, staying in the gym, that sort of thing. That's helped me out physically and mentally. You go and get your work done for the day, just like a normal day. 

"It's keeping me, I think, in a better head space. Just doing the same old stuff."

It's made easier, of course, when he envisions suiting up in Calgary on a team building for a championship run.

One focus.

One ultimate goal.

"I think everyone in that locker-room is hungry," said Gawdin. "Everyone there wants to win badly, myself included if I'm on the team. The end goal, obviously, is to win the Stanley Cup and I think the organization from the bottom to the top, that's their goal.

"It's a fairly young team, too, so for myself it would be great to get in there and get some chemistry. That would be pretty cool. Things are looking pretty good and I expect them to have a good season this year."

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