Bégin to attend Flames training camp on PTO contract
CALGARY, AB -- Former Flame and NHL veteran Steve Bégin will attend the Calgary Flames training camp on a professional tryout contract.
The Trois-Rivieres, QC product missed the entire 2011-12 season due to hip surgery but has fully recovered and is ready to get back into the game.
"Everybody thought I was done," he said. "But I love the game so much that I wanted to make a comeback.
"I'm doing everything to get to back in shape - I'm in great shape right now - and I'll do everything I can to make this team."
Looking back at the past year, Bégin feels the time off he had was a blessing in disguise.
"Sometimes, when you take a step back, you have the time to think about the last few years of playing - what I did wrong, what I did well, what I should have worked on. I think it was the perfect thing to work on."
When new Flames head coach Bob Hartley was notified the forward had fully recovered from surgery, he felt Bégin would be the perfect addition to the squad's training camp roster.
"He asked around (about my hip) and he talked to me so that's how we got everything done," Bégin said of the process behind the contract. "I'm so happy I have this opportunity with this team."
Hartley demands a lot from his players when it comes to work ethic and physical fitness and Bégin believes his style of play will mesh seamlessly with his.
"I'm the kind of guy that leaves it all on ice," he said. "I also play with grit, which is something I know Bob likes. I think I'll be a perfect fit."
Bégin played 123 games in Flames silks after being drafted by the organization in the second round (40th overall) in the 1996 NHL Draft. He scored 11 goals and 18 points in that span while wracking up 192 penalty minutes.
He still has fond memories of his time in Calgary early on in his NHL career and this opportunity feels like a homecoming for the forward.
"I'm coming back to where it all started. It makes it more exciting for me. I can't wait to go back. I still have a few friends back in Calgary and I know the city so it's going to be great. It makes the opportunity even better."