Baldwin fits Flames' mould

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

Robyn Regehr. Rhett Warrener. Dion Phaneuf.

The Calgary Flames love the prototypical rugged western Canadian defenceman.

And in that mould is 6-ft. 5-in. Medicine Hat Tigers blueliner Gord Baldwin. He fits the Flames blueprint to a T: He has size, grit and heart.

The Winnipeg product has followed the Flames over the last couple of seasons and said he couldn't have been happier when Calgary called his name in the third round (69th overall) in 2005.

"The last couple of years I've liked the Flames a lot, and Boston. Out of any team I could have gone to, the Flames were it, by far," said the 18-year-old after the Tigers beat the Hitmen 6-5 in a shootout yesterday at the Saddledome.

"They're from Canada, they're one of my favourite teams and they've got a great organization, so I'm so lucky they picked me."

It also helps Baldwin doesn't mind country music, a staple in the Stampede City.

Baldwin isn't going to get many game-winning goals or show Phaneuf-like poise right off the hop but he'll stay at home and take care of the back end.

"I'm more defensively minded, more of a penalty killer. I play physical but I'm not much of an offensive guy. I like to chip in whenever I can but it's not my main focus -- that's keeping the other team off the board," Baldwin said.

The Hitmen and Tigers have an intense rivalry going now that they've been competing for first place in the WHL's Central Division all season.

Baldwin loves it because every game but one has been decided by one goal.

Fans would be in for a heck of a series if the Tigers and Hitmen were to meet in the WHL playoffs. If they do meet, it would be in the Eastern Conference final.


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