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JANKOWSKI EARNS THIRD STRAIGHT PRE-SEASON SKATE

The centreman will be in the lineup tonight when the Flames host the Coyotes

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Another opportunity to make a boffo impression. Never a bad thing.

"Getting in the lineup again,'' says Mark Jankowski, hours away from making his third pre-season start, this evening against the Arizona Coyotes, "is fine by me.

"You want every opportunity to show your best self. And if you're given those opportunities, it's up to you deliver.

"So far, I think it's gone pretty well. There are lots of things to work on, to improve on, obviously.

"But you can't over-think things. I've put a lot of time, the same as everybody else in here, to put myself in the best position to succeed.

"Now's the time to trust in yourself, trust in your game."

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FIESTY LOMBERG MAKES A STATEMENT

The Flames prospect shined in Wednesday's pre-season game

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

At his infuriating best, Ryan Lomberg is about as welcome as an outbreak of psoriasis. 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds of bad-to-worse news. Continually poking, prodding, provoking.

"Believe me,'' complained the abrasive left winger with a frustrated sigh, "I tried to stir it up.

"Man, did I try …

"There must be a new rule in the league, that you're not allowed to fight.

"Some of those gloves seem to be sewn on."

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GRINNING EAR TO EAR

Dube making most of chance to impress brass and enjoying every moment while he's doing it

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

Yes, Dillon Dube was fully aware of flashing so much enamel that any residual glare glinting off the overhead arena lights might've been distracting some of the paid patrons.

That grin, he knew, must've seemed more insistent than Heath Ledger's Why-So-Seriousssssss? turn as the Joker.

Couldn't help himself. 

Hey, no apologies needed.

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JANKOWSKI IMPRESSES VS. EDMONTON

The centreman hit his stride in Monday's pre-season game vs. the Oilers

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Kris Versteeg has been there. Virtually all the rest of them, too.

"I know when I was trying to establish myself, a hundred years ago or so, I'd do anything to get noticed,'' the two-time Stanley Cup winner was reminiscing late Monday night after the Flames split-squad loss at the Scotiabank Saddledome. "Fight, for instance.

"I did a lot of that, back in the day, believe it or not. At my size.

"In the minors one year I think I had 11.

"It's about finding a way to get your foot in the door. Whatever. However. Making the right people take a second look at you, then a third. And hoping that keeps carrying you forward.

"Once you get that foot in, you keep it there. You don't let that door shut.

"He's a real good kid. He's got the potential to be a real good player.

"I'm rooting for him."

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VALIMAKI EAGER FOR FIRST PRE-SEASON TILT

The 2017 first rounder will suit up tonight in Calgary

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

In the lengthy 'There's no such thing as …' catalogue (along with: a just war, a free lunch, bad publicity, a perfect relationship etc.), one Alberta-specific listed entry can be found:

There is no such thing as an 'exhibition' game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Not in an emotional, competitive sense, anyway.

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BATTLE FOR THE BIG CLUB

Andersson comes to camp in better shape to fight for spot on blueline

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

Imagine the blocks-long queue length for suddenly-released seats to a performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London's West End.

And only one or two tickets are actually for sale.

Then you can relate somewhat to Rasmus Andersson's situation.

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RELATIONSHIP GOALS

Flames netminding coach getting to know his new charges

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

Forging an alliance, arriving at common ground, establishing a shared vision, is imperative, Job 1, in Jordan Siglet's line of work.

"The biggest thing with new guys,'' says the Flames' goaltending coach, "is building a relationship. And that takes time.

"You can't just walk in, right off the bat, and start telling someone you really don't know to 'Do this' or 'Do that.'

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RESTED, RECHARGED AND READY TO ROCK

After banner campaign last season, Backlund still hungry to improve and push himself to be better

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

A growing dependence on his expanding contribution.

A first, intoxicating foray into major trophy discussion.

More goals, more points, more responsibility.

Finding comfort and strength in on-ice sidekicks and an off-ice soul-mate.

"I feel,'' announces Mikael Backlund, "great.

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FLAMES' ARENA PROPOSAL DETAILS TO BE RELEASED NEXT WEEK

Team will respond to city's cost-breakdown with its own

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

Flames President and CEO Ken King announced Friday that the NHL team plans on releasing its financial proposal for a new arena next week.

In responding to the City of Calgary's cost-breakdown version announced Friday morning, King said the team's plans for a new home to replace the 34-year-old Scotiabank Saddledome on the Victoria Park site would be ground-breaking.

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LAZAR SETTLED IN CALGARY

The forward views this season as a fresh start in his career

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

He comes across as bubbly as a bottle of slightly-chilled, still-corked Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon. Gregarious. Outgoing.

Someone, you're convinced, very much in command of himself and his situation, the one in a crowd others instinctively gravitate towards.

But tiny, insidious cracks, Curtis Lazar is quick to acknowledge, had begun appearing underneath the surface of that self-assured sheen.

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