CALGARY, AB -- A new start, he hopes, will lead to new opportunity.
For forward Linden Vey, that opportunity is found with the Calgary Flames.
“It is,” Vey said. “It’s good to get a fresh start and a new opportunity to hopefully have a better season and really get that career going.
“I’m excited. They’re a good up-and-coming team, a team with a lot of young, skilled guys. As Calgary itself as a city, the fans are so supportive. I just remember two years ago when we were playing in the playoffs. The amount of support they got in the first couple of rounds was really special and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
Vey signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Flames on Tuesday.
The Wakaw, SK native recorded four goals and 15 points in 41 regular season games with the Vancouver Canucks, and 15 points in 26 games with Utica of the American Hockey League in a 2015-16 campaign that featured plenty of distractions.
“He’s obviously hungry for an opportunity,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said. “Nobody makes the team or gets cut in July. It gives us more depth. We didn’t qualify a lot of people at the American league level. We’ve got some young people coming in. Worst-case scenario, we look at this as something that will provide depth in the organization, adds more skill, and gets some ability to play different positions.”
Best-case scenario is Vey finds the scoring touch present in four years with Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League, where he scored 102 goals and 280 points in 262 games, and with Manchester in the AHL, where he netted 55 goals and 158 points in 191 games.
The skill hasn’t been absent, Vey insists.
But consistency has.
“I showed flashed of being able to do it but just not doing it as a consistent threat game-in and game-out,” he said. “Last year, I had a really good 20-game stretch where I really started contributing. Obviously it didn’t end the way it went the rest of the season, but just for me, mentally knowing I can do it is important, and with a big summer of training and refocusing I’m going to make sure I’m ready for the start of camp.”
Because opportunity abounds.
Competition, too, with the addition of Vey.
“It gives us more depth in an area we want to add more depth. Right shot. Can play center. Can play around the lineup,” Treliving said.
“This is still a young man whose produced very well at the junior level, produced very well at the American league level, still working to get traction at the NHL level. (Coach Glen Gulutzan) is familiar with him from his time in Vancouver. Our scouts have liked him for a long time. Liked him in junior, liked him in the American league.
“There’s an opportunity here because of the contract, where you’ve got to create more competition and depth in the organization.”
Vey is hoping to seize that opportunity.
“For me, I’ve just got to focus on having a good camp and preseason,” he said.
“Nothing is ever set in stone.
“I’ve just got to make sure to come ready and go to camp with the mindset of earning a spot.”