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Derek Forbort excited for chance to make an impact with the Flames

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

Derek Forbort didn't have to pause long before answering.

Like two seconds, max.

When asked if there was anybody he was excited to be playing alongside now, anyone he'd always admired and wanted to play with, rather than against, he was quick with the reply.

"I'm definitely excited to not be chasing around Johnny," he said with a laugh. "He's a tough player to get a hold of and defend against - definitely excited for that."

Excited was a word Forbort used a lot when describing the trade deadline deal Monday that brought him to the Flames.

The blueliner was acquired from the LA Kings, along with fellow defenceman Erik Gustafsson from the Chicago Blackhawks.

The duo will not only help shore up a Flames backend that has suffered significant injuries to captain Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic, but they are also expected to make significant impacts with their skill sets.

Gustafsson is an offensive defenceman who will see some time on the powerplay.

Forbort is a rugged player who throws around his body and can play on the penalty-kill.

 

Video: "We're happy with what we got accomplished"

 

GM Brad Treliving said the pair will play important roles with the club.

"He's a big, rangy defenceman," Treliving said of Forbort. "He adds some weight. He adds some size. He adds some defending ability. He's very good on the penalty-kill. So, we looked at that two ways, not only to address personnel that is out, but then when (Mark Giordano) comes back in, maybe there is a way to lessen his workload on both sides of special teams."

 

 

The 6-foot-4, 219-lb. Forbort was "hanging out at home, having a coffee with the dog" when he found out the news he'd been dealt to the Flames.

His first thoughts? 

"Was excited when I found out I was going to Calgary," he said. "I have a couple of buddies from there. Been to the city before, been to the Stampede. I've always liked playing there, just like the atmosphere."

He relishes the chance to go from a Kings team sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference standings to one right in the thick of an ultra-competitive playoff battle.

"Definitely," he said. "This time of year you always want to be playing meaningful hockey and to get that chance to join the Flames and kind of jump on board with the boys and help them make their push is something I'm definitely looking forward to."

Forbort has played 13 games this season, suffering an injury that limited his off-season training before another injury in December that further delayed his return to action.

However, since debuting on Jan. 6, he has played alongside Drew Doughty on LA's No.-1 pairing and he played a season high 23:01 against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.

Right now, he said he's feeling healthy and motivated, ready to bring his bruising, stay-at-home style to the Scotiabank Saddledome and beyond.

"Playing defence first is something I love to do," he said. "I take pride in that. That's definitely what I look to bring to the team and hopefully that can help the boys get some wins."

His knowledge of the Pacific Division teams and their players should also pay dividends for the Flames.

"I think it's huge," he explained. "There are definitely some high-end players in the division like McDavid and Draisaitl, guys like that, and I played a lot against them, obviously, playing with Drew. 

"That familiarity is going to help for sure as opposed to going to an Eastern Conference team. I definitely know what I'm up against."

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