Stanley Cup story, scoring touch and the glide
Notes, quotes and anecdotes from the Flames development camp
Bryan Cameron can score goals. Last season, in the Ontario Hockey League, he scored 53 goals in just 62 games with the Barrie Colts.
A former second round pick of the Los Angeles Kings, he signed as a free agent with the Flames earlier this year.
"It's a roller coaster ride with hockey sometimes," said Cameron, between sessions at the Calgary Flames development camp this week. "There are ups and downs. You have to battle through it. Things didn't work out with Los Angeles. I knew if I went back to the OHL and did my thing there would be opportunities."
And one of those opportunities was the Flames who would love to see Cameron bring his skill to the pro level.
"He has to learn the pro side of the game," said development coach Ron Sutter. "That's getting into the system, getting to know us. The ability is there."
Cameron, 5'10", 185 pounds, knows it will be tougher to score at the pro level.
"It's all hockey. It's all the same. I know it is going to get tougher. Guys are a lot stronger. I have to be ready to go. I have to try and do what I have done in the previous years and bring it to the next level," said Cameron. "The older you get the stronger you will get. The harder you work, the stronger you will get. I am going to just keep trying to develop my game and hopefully make it to the next level."
STANLEY CUP TREKS
Keith Seabrook spent some quality time with Lord Stanley this summer.
The Calgary Flames prospect is the younger brother of Brent Seabrook, whose Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup this spring.
Earlier this month Keith got to spend the day with hockey’s coveted Cup.
“It’s been a busy summer. There’s been a lot to do, but it’s been fun,” Seabrook told the Calgary Sun. “Definitely one I won’t forget.”
The 21-year-old finished his first year of pro with the Abbotsford Heat and then watched Brent’s Hawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers for Lord Stanley’s mug.
When time came for the Cup to visit his hometown of Tsawwassen, B.C., Keith helped his big brother plan the festivities. But he didn’t touch the centrepiece.
It’s bad luck, apparently, for a kid that wants to earn the right to hoist it one day.
“I want to keep my options open,” Seabrook said. “I want to be able to win it myself one day and have a party like that.”
GET ON THE GLIDE PROGRAM
Barry Karn is the man in charge of getting hockey players to skate faster. Sometimes it is a little like teaching old dogs new tricks. And it can sometimes be a long process.
|Barry Karn and Mikael Backlund|
Karn has been putting the 34 players at development camp through power skating sessions every morning. Just what is he trying to teach? "Glide platform," he said.
"When your toes digs into the ice, like the skating style of 40 years ago, your foot stops and if your foot stops you are not going to propel yourself faster than your leg can push," Karn added.
By using the edges of skates differently, Karn has seen players increase their top end speed by 20 percent.
He has plenty of pros in his stable and runs a big skating school out of Minneapolis -- he and his wife, a former figure skater, put 500 kids through their program each week, year round.
"I started out in hockey but had some concussions young and had to quit. I became a skier. I married a figure skater. She bent me into pretzels on the ice. I asked her to teach some young kids. At first she was reluctant but she started to like teaching boys. She thought they would go through a wall for you. So I actually got into this by accident about 27 years ago."
For the record, when asked which player has shown great improvement among Flames prospects, Karn cited Mikael Backlund.
A former Flame player is doing his best to get a Flame prospect to the pros.
Marc Habscheid. who logged 46 games with the Flames in 1991-92, is the coach of the Chilliwack Bruins where Flames prospect Ryan Howse is honing his game.
If last season is any indication, it is a partnership that is working. Howse registered 47 goals for the Bruins, 16 more than his previous season. He added 25 assists and his points total of 72 was almost 30 better than his previous year.
"He pushed me," said Howse of his coach. "He showed me a lot. He just wants me to make it to the next level."
And what will that take for the third round pick?
"I need to improve my skills in the defensive zone. Get fitter. Get bigger," said Howse.