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Gulutzan caps camp with Gaudreau get

Top duo of Monahan and Gaudreau back together to face Oilers on Wednesday

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers /

CALGARY, AB -- Glen Gulutzan always had a Plan B. 
But he can now elevate that to his primary blueprint.
Now that he has, officially, left wing Johnny Gaudreau at his disposal. 
"You can control what you can control," started the Calgary Flames head coach. "What I could control is who I had and what players I had at the time.

"If things changed then I would change. That's how I looked at it."
Things have changed for Gulutzan's crew. 

He's has the team's leading scorer back at his disposal. 
For a while. 
Gaudreau signed a six-year deal worth in excess of $40 million on Monday, reuniting the Flames with their top offensive threat.
"It's nice," Gulutzan said. "You can certainly see there was some energy out there in the building. I thought that he gave us a little juice in the room when we had our meeting. He's excited to be here. He's a hockey player. I really liked our practice with him in it. I think there was some good excitement for a lot of guys. 
"It was good."
It's a better result than the last time Gulutzan was faced with the scenario. 
At the helm of the Dallas Stars, he dealt with the absence of forward Jamie Benn in 2012-13. 
Benn had just finished his entry-level deal which saw him net $670,000, and in search of a hefty raise after coming off a 26-goal, 63-point campaign.
No contract. 
No show. 
Benn missed the first five games of the season before signing a five-year, $26.25 million contract. 
That experience helped Gulutzan deal with this one. 
"I've been through all that," he said. "It's no issue. Once it's done these guys want to play hockey and they get in that locker room and they're close. For me, just going through it, it didn't make me panic about it. There's nothing you can do. You just have to proceed day-by-day.
"It wasn't draining on me, personally, at all. I knew. I had faith that things were going to get done. I wasn't just saying it. I was focused on who we had here and making the best of what we had and when it happened.
"Johnny got here this morning, we went back to the power play early, got on the ice early trying to get him up to speed and some practice."
Yes, Johnny's here. 
But Gulutzan won't overload the 23-year-old, who paced the Flames in goals (30), assists (48) and points (78) last season, in an attempt to bring him up to speed on a training camp that broke in mid-September. 
"We are going to go over some subtleties," Gulutzan said. "A lot of the stuff we've changed is defence and center-related. I don't want to overload a very instinctual player like that. 
"We'll give him some d-zone coverage and routes. We went over some stuff today that he picked up real quick. It's not going to be system overload for him. We want him to be dynamic and instinctual in the game. 
"We'll give him the rough outline and let him play."

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