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Heavyweight Godard set on staying in Calgary

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

Calgary's new tough guy on the block, Eric Godard, is a man of few words words. On the ice, the 6-ft-4, 230 pound forward has shown himself to be a fighter, a guy that packs a punch, but off the ice it's a whole different story.

The soft-spoken NHL heavyweight, who collected 155 penalty minutes in 57 games with the New York Islanders last season, first made his presence known in Calgary after putting a licking to Edmonton prospect Zack Stortini when the Flames hosted the Oilers in early pre-season action. A couple of nights later, at Rexall Place, he was at it again, this time with Edmonton's Mathieu Roy.

But cracking the Flames veteran-laden line-up is no easy task but a challenge Godard, 26, hopes to accomplish.

"Calgary's a tough place to play, so I just have to work hard, but I'd like to think I mesh with the team," said Godard Thursday morning following the team's on ice practice.

He's made an impression that's for sure, but how much will it sway coaches to keep him around is the question. According to Godard, he has to stay focused and continue to do what he does best - play physical.

"It's a role I guess. If I need to fight, I'll fight, but I'll also go out there and play well," added Godard.

"I just want to be consistent and reliable. I think I'm strong defensively, and I can grind the other team by being physical."

The Vernon, B.C. native has little problem with the physical side of the game and continues to work on his skating and puck skills.

Ultimately it will be up to coaches to decide whether Calgary needs him in their line-up or whether he's better suited for the Flames' top farm team in Omaha (AHL).

Godard knows where he wants to be -- in Calgary. He, like many others trying to stick with the big team, has two more pre-season games to make his case.

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