Flames' prospect Adam Pardy has been waiting for his chance -- and now it looks like some ice time with the big club is just around the corner.
With Calgary Flames' defenceman Robyn Regehr out with a bone bruise and tissue damage in his left foot, Pardy is sure to be a shoe in for the Flames' sixth defenceman come game time at Chicago's United Center on Sunday.
"I have to realize it's a huge possibility. It's going to be exciting, and I can't wait to get in there and get in the lineup," said Pardy, hours before the team jetted off on their road trip.
"I just have to focus on what I can do and what I'm here for."
He'll draw into the lineup in the absence of the veteran blueliner, who was injured after taking a shot off his foot in Thursday's second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 27-year-old left the ice and did not return. He is listed as day-to-day. The loss of Regehr may be a huge blow to the team as they head out on the six-game road trip -- but it's an even bigger opportunity for Pardy.
"I think you have to take it shift by shift," added Pardy. "Going out there and making sure I play hard and do whatever I can to help the team."
And lucky for Pardy, he's not alone. There are more then a couple familiar faces around the Flames' dressing room, including Quad City teammates Dustin Boyd and Eric Nystrom. And then there's the guys he worked and skated with in Flames' training camp back in September.
"Having some familiar faces makes it easier of course, and I was here for a month in training camp, so I know a lot of the guys and I’m feeling pretty comfortable here so that’s pretty good," said Pardy.
According to Flames Head Coach Mike Keenan, Pardy's work ethic and play in and outside of this season's training camp has helped get him where he is today.
"He played well in pre-season for us, again, you’re not up against all the best players a team can offer, but he held his own, played well, made some progress, and I think he’s been playing fairly well for our minor league team as well," commented Keenan.
"That’s why you have a farm team. The people that have come up here, Nystrom and Boyd, have done a good job for us and stepped in and now Adam (Pardy) will have an opportunity. It's a little more difficult of a position, but he’s a big man, and I think he could probably take some ice time, but we’re going to find out."
Pardy, who is yet to see ice time with the Flames, was called up from the Flames' farm team, the Quad City Flames, Dec. 3. He's been a healthy scratch since that time and has been itching for the chance to play along side the NHL club.
In 24 games with the Quad City Flames, Pardy has tallied eight points, including two goals and six assists, which matches his year-end numbers with the Flames' farm team last year when they were in Omaha. Pardy was drafted by the Flames in the sixth round, 173rd overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
So what does Pardy think is going to come of this road trip?
"I don’t think you can predict the future," said Pardy. "What’s going to come to you is going to come to you; all you can do is take it day by day."