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Flames not letting outside noise, trade talk impact focus in locker-room

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames /

Outside, the trade-wind speculation is howling at gale-force velocity.

Inwardly, all appears as calm as the surface of a pond on a completely still day.

"I like our team," said centre Derek Ryan, untying his skates following Friday's morning skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome. "I like the chemistry in here. I don't think I'm the only one in this room who feels that way.

"I haven't been listening to what (GM Brad Treliving) is saying. I kinda just stay away from that. But I would imagine he feels the same.

"Some small changes, maybe, but I don't see us making a big deal, if we do anything at all. But I'm not the GM. That's not my job.

"We'll see what happens, same as everybody else.

"But this group has gotten us to where we are now. And we've gone through some different adversities, whether it's losing a game or being down in the third period or whatever.

"We've grown as a team. You don't have to be in the room, it's evident on the ice how we believe in each other, how we interact with one another, how we conduct ourselves on the bench.

"We stick together. We fight together.

"I think this group is ready to be together."

With the Anaheim Ducks on the docket this evening, speculation ahead of Monday's bartering deadline will only continue to build.

What, if anything the division and conference-leading Calgary Flames, rolling along at 37-16-7, do is prime topic of discussion, league-wide.

Video: "We like the spot we're in with our group."

"We're very comfortable with the guys we have in here," stressed captain Mark Giordano. "We've got good guys in playing Stockton right now, like (Juuso) Valimaki and (Dillon) Dube, too, who could come up and contribute.

"It's harder to make trades than people think. But knowing Tre, the way he is, he'll do something if he thinks it can help us. Teams that go on long runs, they need that depth, to have those extra bodies around. And if something happens, it won't be a problem adding a new face. As players, it's up to us to make sure he fits in. With the guys we have in here, it'll be an easy transition, I'm sure.

"We're happy with our team right now. And we'll see how it looks next week.

"One thing, we'll all be watching. Guys will be paying attention."

Coach Bill Peters understands that this a tense time of year for a lot of the hired help.

"They've put themselves in a great spot," he reminded the media mob of his current group. "If we can add something … you're always trying to get better, right?

"But they all want to be here. We like our guys. We like our assets in the minors. With Shilly (Oliver Kylington) and Vali we've got eight legit NHL D-men, and when Stoney (Michael Stone, making his way back from a blood clot), nine.

"I like us. I like our team. I like what Tre's done."

Video: "Energy level is higher, the enthusiasm is higher"

At 36, goaltender Mike Smith is an old-hand at the of these trade deadline run-ins.

"Sitting in first place, it's always a little bit different," he reasoned. "You're looking to add pieces to maybe help your team.

"I've been on the other end of the spectrum, too.

"There's definitely different feels around the league.

"It's a lot better feeling knowing your probably going to try and add to help your team get over the hump than to lose some friends that mean so much to you."

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