By Miranda Baker
Curtis McElhinney is ready.
Ready to lace up his skates, dust off his skills and more importantly ready to to don the 'Flaming C'.
Now he just needs to show the Flames coaching staff he has what it takes, and the team's annual development camp is just the place to do it.
"I just want to get my feet wet right now," said McElhinney following Monday's one-ice session.
"This is the first ice that I've had since the season ended so it's an opportunity to get back on the ice and get a feel for it again."
The camp, which kicked off Monday, saw goalies, such as McElhinney take to the ice under the direction of Flames' goaltending coach David Marcoux.
But McElhinney is no stranger to development camp, in fact, this is his second year, which gives the 23-year-old netminder a heads up on what the camp entails.
"It was a little tough, but overall I felt pretty good and hopefully I'll feel a bit better tomorrow," added McElhinney.
According to McElhinney there are a number of things he would like to work on over the course of the week, including rebound control and playing the puck.
"Those are definitely two things I need to work on if I want to make it to that next level," said McElhinney.
"Overall I rely a lot on my angles and just cover up as many pucks as I can."
But Marcoux gives the native of Calgary a little more credit and says he is well on his way to being a great goaltender in the National Hockey League.
"He has a great attitude; he is a workhorse. What we're asking now of Curtis is to push for a number one spot in the number one hockey league and to take control of his own situation," commented Marcoux.
McElhinney, made his professional debut with the Flames' farm team, the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights last season. He finished the year with the American Hockey League's 5th best goals against average (2.52) and tied for the league's tenth best save percentage (0.912).
According to McElhinney, his performance with the Knights during the 2005-06 season was a great way to start his pro career. Now he just needs to keep pushing forward and there's no doubt he'll do just that.
"I'm a hybrid goalie. I do tend to scramble a bit more than some other guys, but that's just the way I am," added McElhinney.
"I'm very competitive and I aim to battle for every puck."
The Flames development camp runs through Saturday and is being held at the Don Hartman Arena in northeast Calgary. All sessions are open to the public.
For the full schedule and a list of players participating in the camp, click here.