Physical Westgarth excited to join Flames
CALGARY, AB -- Kevin Westgarth thinks he’ll have no problem fitting right in with the Calgary Flames.
Westgarth, acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Greg Nemisz on Monday, thinks he can fit the truculent mould president of hockey operations Brian Burke is trying to shape in Calgary.
“I think through my career, at the risk of sounding immodest, I like to bring a physical presence and a lot of grit and a lot of work as well as hopefully some experience and leadership,” Westgarth told CalgaryFlames.com. “I look forward to giving everything I’ve got to the Calgary Flames and helping out in any way.”
Admittedly, though, the trade caught Westgarth by surprise.
While prepping dinner, his phone rang. On the other end was Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford informing Westgarth he was now a member of the Flames.
A few minutes later, Burke was on the other end welcoming him to Calgary.
“It’s a bit of a shock but just knowing the organization’s history with strong roots and a Stanley Cup and obviously knowing Brian Burke is there with a very good, young organization, it’s very exciting to be a part of that,” he said.
It shouldn’t take Westgarth long to fit in.
Though he doesn’t expect to be in Calgary when the Flames host the Philadelphia Flyers in Tuesday’s New Year’s Eve clash, Westgarth hopes to join his new team soon.
“The goal is to get out to Calgary as soon as possible and get into games as soon as possible,” he said. “That’s square one, I think.”
Step two is lending a hand.
The 6-foot-4, 234-pound forward has played 133 career NHL games in parts of five different seasons with the Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings, who we won the Stanley Cup with in 2012.
He’s eager to help.
“It sounds like they’re excited to have me there and I know for a fact I’m excited to come and help out,” Westgarth said. “I think it’s going to be a fantastic hockey move and I look forward to contributing as much as possible to the Calgary Flames.”