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Prospect Virtanen enjoys fun interview with Flames

by Adam Kimelman

TORONTO -- Forward Jake Virtanen of the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen couldn't go through the fitness portion of the NHL Scouting Combine after having surgery two weeks ago on his right shoulder. But that didn't stop him from having a few memorable moments during his week here.

Among those were an interesting interview with the Calgary Flames.

Virtanen knows a number of Flames front-office staffers since the Flames and the Hitmen share facilities at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"It was pretty fun," Virtanen said. "I know a lot of the guys in there. They watched me play all year. They're always right there. I talk to them during the year if I see them in the hallways."

Despite the familiarity, Virtanen still dressed like he was going to a job interview; that meant wearing his finest suit and tie.

Virtanen's attire elicited an interesting question from Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke: how exactly did Virtanen tie his tie with one good arm?

"I had to tell him it was one-handed," Virtanen said. "I was able to do it. ... It was a tough question. I didn't want to tell him if it was my mom [who tied it]. It was funny."

The other scouts in the room agreed Virtanen could give some helpful tips to Burke, who has become known through his career for leaving his tie loosened or untied altogether.

"All the guys were chipping him," Virtanen said. "They were telling him I could tell him how to tie his."


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