CALGARY, AB -- Derek Grant was looking for an opportunity.
He found one with the Buffalo Sabres.
And coincidentally, it has him back in Calgary just a week into the National Hockey League schedule.
"I think probably the biggest difference for me from the first day there I had an opportunity to come in and show what I can do," said Grant, who signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Sabres on July 2.
"I was put into a position to be able to play my game and be surrounded with good players, too. I think for me, it was that and that confidence that that instills in you. Given that opportunity right from the start …you're more comfortable. I was there early so I got to know some of the guys and it made me a little more comfortable going into camp."
That comfort has Grant suiting up on the other side when Buffalo faces the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.
"It's always exciting and always fun to play against some of your friends and beat them all over the ice," he said.
Grant spent one season, 15 games to be exact, with the Flames.
He had an additional 36 games with Stockton of the American Hockey League that saw the 26-year-old net 27 goals, a share of sixth in the league, and 45 points.
The output landed the unrestricted free agent an opportunity with the Sabres.
After some chatter with the Flames, that is.
"We had some talks … just couldn't really make things work here," said Grant, who has three assists in 42 career NHL games. "I felt the opportunity in Buffalo, for me, was going to be a better fit.
"It's something that every offseason you never know really where you're going to end up. I had an opportunity in Buffalo and went and tried to play my game. You're going into camp with the mindset I can make the team.
"I was able to do that."
He now finds himself starting in the NHL, centering Tyler Ennis and Matt Moulson, after a preseason that saw the Abbotsford, BC native net three goals and six points in six games to pace the Sabres.
But Grant isn't taking his opportunity for granted, just yet.
"I just kind of saw the roster," he said. "I tried to approach every day the same. Just come in and work and leave everything you can on the ice every day and try to come to the rink and get better every day."