Flames' prospect confident in making the big club
Becoming the Calgary Flames backup goaltender is no easy feat, especially when the starter is Miikka Kiprusoff, but Flames' prospect Brent Krahn is willing to put that challenge to the test.
"That's been my mind set all summer long, to get myself ready both on and off the ice to contribute and earn a spot with the Calgary Flames," Krahn said following Flames' prospect fitness testing.
"So I'm going to go out there and give it all I have."
Krahn, a native of Winnipeg, MB., entered his eighth training camp for the Flames Thursday at the Pengrowth Saddledome along with 40 other prospects, including four other goaltenders.
Of course not all of them are vying for the same spot Krahn is.
Sure any one of the four would love to be the big club's backup netminder, but the majority of them are still a way's away from suiting up for the Flames and still need some time with the farm team in Quad City or with their junior clubs.
That's not to say Krahn doesn't have any competition. His biggest this season will be Curtis McElhinney, a 24-year-old Alberta native from Medicine Hat, who posted a 2.13 goals against average, making him second best in the American Hockey League in 2006-07.
But Krahn isn't worried, in fact, he's pretty confident in his chances this season.
"You have to go out there and impress someone in the organization to stick around, and I believe that I've done that, and I believe that I have an opportunity here to make it worthwhile," Krahn added.
"My approach hasn't really changed a whole lot though. Just continue to improve every year is the big thing for myself."
So what does the 25-year-old plan on doing to catch the coach's eye?
"The wins have to be there when you're backing up a goaltender like Miikka Kiprusoff, who plays the bulk of the games," said Krahn.
"And when you do get in there, you have to make an impact and you have to win hockey games. You have to earn the trust of your teammates and the trust of your coach."
Krahn, who was drafted in Round 1 of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, collected 14 wins and 12 losses in 28 games last season. He posted a 2.42 goals against average and registered two shutouts. The former Hitmen netminder also suffered a knee injury which set back his progress.
"I'm doing great now," commented Krahn. "I feel fantastic and I haven't had any setbacks all summer long, so I'm ready to get going."
McElhinney, Krahn's biggest competition this season, had a 35-17-1 record including seven shutouts in 2006-07.
Calgary Flames prospect training camp runs through Sept. 13 at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Flames' veterans report to main camp starting Sept. 13 for fitness testing and on ice sessions the following day. All on-ice sessions are open to the public.