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Trio of Flames familiar with Blackhawks' lore

Brouwer, Frolik, Versteeg, all won Stanley Cups as members of 'Hawks

by Jason Johnson @Jay__Jo / CalgaryFlames.com

CHICAGO, IL -- It's familiar surroundings for a trio of Calgary Flames players.

Troy Brouwer, Michael Frolik, and Kris Versteeg all suited up for the Chicago Blackhawks, and all had a lot of success playing in the Windy City.

Frolik captured a Stanley Cup ring with the 2013 version of the Blackhawks and Brouwer and Versteeg lifted the Cup together in 2010 as members of a dominant 'Hawks squad that also finished second in the Western Conference standings with 112 points. Versteeg also was a member of the 2015 Cup-winning Blackhawks squad.

The young team was lead by basically the same core of players that fuel the Blackhawks today -- Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Marian Hossa.

"I think a lot of us were so young that we didn't pay much attention to it and it seems like that's kind of how they are handling it today as well," said Brouwer, who contributed to the 'Hawks Cup run with four goals and eight points. "I'm happy for them, and I'm happy for the city, it's good to see."

Success didn't happen right away for the young 'Hawks. A 4-1 Conference Final exit courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings made them even more hungry the next year.

Video: Brouwer on playing the Blackhawks tonight in Chicago

"I think the first year we went to the Conference Finals really gave us a lot of confidence. We were almost naive to not know how well we were doing at the time and what we were setting up. 

"The next season we had such (high) confidence in ourselves that we knew nobody was going to beat us going through the playoffs if we didn't want them to. You just go into every game with the mentality that you know you are going to win and good things will happen."

Versteeg, who was 23 at the time of his first Stanley Cup victory, has suited up for six teams since not including another tour of duty with the 'Hawks that lasted two seasons (2013 - 2015).

"It's always kind of a little strange coming back," Versteeg said. "It's part of it. I've been with a few teams now and every time you go back to a team you played for it's always a bit strange, especially coming here. 

"But it's always exciting, too."

Toews, who was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2010, recalled his time with Brouwer, Frolik, and Versteeg.

"They bring experience, some character and obviously a lot of skill on the ice," Toews said. "I think all three of those guys played pretty key roles in Chicago when they were here. They are obviously great friends and great teammates as well. 

"That is three pretty solid additions to that team and three guys we will definitely look out for because it always seems when we play aginst former Blackhawks they have a knack for doing some damage against us so we'll have to look out for that three tonight."

The Blackhawks have been a perennial contender for the Cup title in every season since, adding another two championships along the way -- in 2013 and 2015.

As close to a dynasty as you can get in the modern day NHL.

Although the 'Hawks hold a modest record this season at 3-3-0, Chicago poses a stiff test for the Flames tonight.

And Versteeg knows full well what they are up against.

"It's really tough to expose the guys who have been there a long time," said Versteeg, who collected his first two goals of the season Saturday against the St. Louis Blues. "They play the game right, and they play it right each and every night. They don't often give you too much to work with. 

"We're going to have to take advantage of our opportunities when we get them and not create a game for them where they can hold on to the puck and make a lot of plays because when you give guys like (Patrick) Kane the puck all night he's going to make a lot of things happen. 

"It's about really managing the puck well against them, and I think every team always says that coming in, so it's a big thing tonight for us."

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