CALGARY, AB -- It wasn’t how his year was supposed to unfold.
Forced to sit out the final four games of the 2012-13 seasons after sustaining a knee injury five shifts into a game against the Anaheim Ducks last April, Curtis Glencross had plenty of time to build big ideas for his 2013-14 campaign.
But after an injury-riddled year, the plans of the 31-year-old didn’t come to fruition.
“It was definitely a short one,” said Glencross, who led the Flames with 15 goals in the shortened season a season ago. “It’s disappointing. I was excited to come into this season, a bunch of new faces in here. Everyone came into camp and we had a good start to the season and everyone was excited.
“I would have liked to have been there through all 82 games but with two injuries [that came] back-to-back with five games between them it’s disappointing -- it was mentally draining, but it gives me more incentive and I’m even more excited for next year already.”
The expectations he created last summer quickly evaporated.
His first injury, a 2nd degree sprain of his medial collateral ligament, came just 15 games into the season and kept Glencross out an additional 15. Skating in just five more after returning from the injury, he sustained another -- a high ankle sprain that sidelined the 6-foot-1, 197-pound winger for another 29 contests.
Injuries aside, Glencross remained productive both on and off the ice.
And while the veteran of 436 games over parts of eight NHL seasons amassed just 12 goals and 24 points in 38 games -- his lowest totals on all three fronts since breaking into the league as a rookie in 2006-07 -- Glencross found other ways to stay productive and contributing to the rebuilding Flames.
Namely, the native of Kindersley, SK still found a way to chip in on the leadership front.
“It’s completely different when you’re not on the ice everyday with the guys and you’re sitting there watching,” said the assistant captain. “You do what you can but we had lots of different guys that stepped up this year and it’s a big part of where we are right now.”
Now, that optimism Glencross had heading into the summer a year ago is matched with the anticipation he has for both himself yet again and the step forward he expects the Flames to take in 2014-15.
And, as he put it, it’s all about next year.
“We had a good run coming down the stretch and we’re going to build,” he said. “We’re taking one step at a time right now and it’s going to be fun. We’re all excited to come back next year.
“We’ve just taken one step right now and we’re going to have to take another step next year. There’s always going to be lots of young guys and that’s always going to be a big job for the most part. In our [dressing] room, the guys are all on the same page -- we all strive on having good work ethic -- we’re going to be hungry next year.
“We want to be a playoff team next year and that’s the bottom line.”
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