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PARSONS MAKING THE PUSH TO TURN PRO

The netminder has his sights set on landing in the ECHL or AHL this fall

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Blocking the incessant white noise, reckons Brad Treliving, ranks just behind blocking those often spiteful black disks of vulcanized rubber.

"With Tyler,'' sighs the Calgary Flames' general manager, "everybody's got questions or an opinion, right?

"'Where are you going to play?'

"'Where do you want to play?'

"'How's it going to go?'

"'What do you hope to achieve?'

"We've amassed what I consider a pretty good stable of goaltenders. Meaning you've got to get everybody nets. But that's our job. So don't sweat it.

"You'll get your net.

"The good news is, 95 per cent of the stuff he has no control over and we're not going to ask an opinion on certain things anyway.

"So why worry? No sense burning calories over it.

"Go out and stop pucks. Compete like crazy."

Be Tyler Parsons' winter zip code 209 (Stockton, Calif.), 816 (Independence, Miss.) or whatever. Wherever.

Out at WinSport for testing Thursday before shuttling off to his second Young Stars tournament in Penticton, B.C., the 19-year-old puck-stopping prodigy's October destination remains one of the bones being most chewed over as the hockey season begins to close in fast.

"Not sure where I'm playing yet. Hopefully somewhere pro,'' says Parsons, taking his turn in the media assembly line at WinSport. "I'm ready for that. I'm ready to put the work in this weekend in Penticton, moving on to main camp and finally find out where I'm playing.

"As a hockey player, sometimes you get into these kinds of situations and it just comes down to how hard you work.

"So that's what I've been doing. Hopefully it turns out well for me.

"I think the biggest thing for me is controlling my speed and not being in the splits all the time. Just saving those for when I need to use them.

"Controlling my game. You look at a guy like Carey Price, you see how composed he is in the net. That's what I've been working on this summer."

Parsons turns 20 on Sept. 18th and is therefore able to return to London of the OHL. But he's run the table (a couple times over, actually) in terms of junior highlights to check off the ol' Bucket List, there's nothing whatever left to prove at that level, so after signing his first pro contract in July the logical step is now to upgrade to the ECHL or AHL and begin acclimatization to the pro game.

"Wherever it turns out to be, just don't get ahead of yourself,'' says Trelviing. "Sounds cliché-ish, I know. But for Tyler, the routine should be the same: Every morning jump out of bed, think about that day, game or practice, work like crazy, let your natural ability shine and eventually things will look after themselves.

"Don't get caught up in all the outside stuff.

"Obviously our plan for him, as with any young goaltender, is to find somewhere he can face shots and make saves.

"That usually does wonders for any guy's confidence."

Video: Get to know Flames prospect Tyler Parsons

With battle-tested new boys Mike Smith and Eddie Lack pencilled in to man the barricades here, prospects David Rittich and Jon Gillies in the on-deck circle waiting to take their cuts and prodigy Parsons off in the wings, Trelviing's spot on when he speaks of quality depth in the organization's goaltending pool.

The age range, nicely spaced out, varies from 35 to 19.

The toddler of the group doesn't mind admitting he'll be studying the wise old hands, taking crib notes as soon as main camp opens next week.

"Last year when I came in, I had (Brian) Elliott there,'' Parsons recalls. "I spent a lot of time in the locker room around him, got a little pre-season action, backed him up.

"Even some of the forwards and defencemen, it's good to see them around the room. Always there, available, how humble they are. It's really cool to see.

"To be in that locker room is an honour."

A room that Parsons plans on inhabiting himself in winters one fine day.

Still, as the boss is fond of saying, block the noise and the pucks.

"For him, it's not concerning yourself with Step 2 and Step 3 before you've taken Step 1,'' repeats Treliving. "Small bites. Worry about today. Stay in the moment.

"He's a smart kid. He gets it. He's eager. And so competitive.

"The good thing is that he's gone through this before. The whole thing isn't new to to him. He's not all wide-eyed. He's been to Penticton, knows how things work and he's already started to take a little bit of leadership role.

"He's going to be just fine. Let's just go through the process here.

"I've said it before: We think this is a very special talent. It's up to us to nurture that talent in the right way."

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