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Kolanos feeling confident about upcoming season

Sunday, 09.30.2012 / 8:43 PM MT / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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Kolanos feeling confident about upcoming season

ABBOTSFORD, BC -- By all accounts, Krys Kolanos cannot be classified as a rookie.

The 31 year-old is entering his 11th professional season and has 149 NHL games under his belt. In addition to his time in North America, he has played in the Finnish Elite League, German Ice Hockey League and the Swiss League.

Last year, he was an offensive juggernaut for the Heat, scoring 30 goals and 61 points in 47 games. He also earned a two-year, two-way deal with the Flames, spending 13 games in Calgary.

But, four days into the Abbotsford Heat training camp, Kolanos still feels those first-day-of-school type of jitters that plague rookies.

"I always live by the motto, 'String together a bunch of great todays,' and I don't ever like to get complacent or comfortable," he smiled. "I feel just as nervous and excited as I did last year. We're in the business of, 'What have you done for me lately?' and you can't rest on laurels, what you did six months ago or what you did in the postseason. It's almost a 'What did you do today?' kind of deal.

"I feel like a rookie coming in, excited and got the butterflies. I still love and have a passion for the game."

Kolanos spent the duration of his summer training in Windermere, BC with his brother Mark and his trainer Adam Wood, making a few trips to Calgary to check in at the Flames hockey school and participate in some charity events.

"I had a very good summer of preparation and just tried to build it up coming into camp. I'm trying to build off last year and the finish of last season so it was important to have a good off-season."

Last summer, Kolanos training regimen was limited by the fact he was working his way back into the game from hip surgery that sidelined him for over a season. While he was confident he would be able to compete in training camp, his usual off-season workout routine had to be altered to ensure he had the proper support for his hip.

"It was definitely different. I can do more explosive stuff. I can do more single-leg training whereas preparing for last season, I was coming off the hip surgery.

"So a lot of stuff I did was double-leg because I needed that other side for support and strength. Eventually, this summer I was able to progress into more single-leg stuff - strength and plyometrics with individual legs."

His off-season training has him feeling confident about the year and what he has seen through the first four days of camp has him excited about the Heat's upcoming season.

With 45 players jostling for a roster spot, the competition has been fierce. Kolanos knows he has to put in every he has got every day this week as there are several forwards nipping at his heels, looking to displace him from his spot on the depth chart.

"There is a lot of depth here," Kolanos noted. "The league is going to look different though with the way this lockout is playing out at the moment and it will be even more competitive than it was last year.

"But you're always trying to improve yourself and better yourself. You can't look back at how many wins we got last year or how we had that great push to get into the playoffs. It's a day-to-day thing. It's always a great challenge."