I'm excited. Just really, really excited for a fresh start for a team that I've played for before. - Brian McGrattan
CALGARY, AB – The Calgary Flames organization just got a little tougher to play against.
And that suits the newly acquired Brian McGrattan just fine.
Acquired on Thursday from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Joe Piskula, McGrattan is more than ready to provide a policing presence and create a little extra room for his new teammates.
"Everybody knows what I can do in the fighting aspect of things,” McGrattan told CalgaryFlames.com. “I can make guys play bigger that I play with and make other teams question about doing certain things to players on our team so I'll bring a physical and intimidating role to the team."
Intimidating is an accurate adjective for McGrattan.
The six-foot-four, 235-pound pugilist has 60 scraps to his credit over a 214 game National Hockey League career with Ottawa, Phoenix, Nashville and the Flames. He also has 456 penalty minutes to accompany his three goals and 13 assists during that span.
McGrattan was eager to the possibility of increasing those totals in a Flames jersey once again.
"I'm excited. Just really, really excited for a fresh start for a team that I've played for before," he said.
In a 34 game stint with the Flames during the 2009-10 season, the 31-year-old had four points and 86 penalty minutes. His penalty totals include dropping the mitts 14 times.
Whether or not he’ll be relied upon to provide that presence on such a regular basis remains to be seen. McGrattan has yet to talk to coach Bob Hartley about any potential part he can play in Calgary.
"I talked to Jay (Feaster) briefly this morning but I haven't had a chance to talk to the coaches yet about my role," he said.
In the meantime, the Hamilton, ON product has been assigned to the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League, but will make a quick stop in Calgary.
"I am heading to Calgary today to see the doctors and we'll see what happens from there," McGrattan said.