SUN Hockey Pool

Just call him Mr. Versatility

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

Bouncing here, there and everywhere among the forward lines is nothing new to Marcus Nilson.

In fact, it's just part of the gig for the Calgary Flames forward.

The season isn't one-third completed and Nilson has already skated on enough different lines to make your head spin.

He just takes it all in stride.

"When you're on the bench and he calls the lines, you don't think about it," he said. "You just go out and play."

En route to his team-best plus-10 rating, Nilson has centred a couple of different trios -- including the first line alongside captain Jarome Iginla -- skated on left wing with Stephane Yelle in a checking role, even spent shifts on the right side.

In the third period of Friday night's 2-1 shootout loss to Edmonton, he was at the left wing on the top line with Iginla and Steven Reinprecht.

Good thing Nilson doesn't really care what position he's told to play, so long as he's told to hit the ice.

"It doesn't matter to me," he said. "Sometimes it's hard to jump from one to the other, wing to centre, and helps to have a few games to jump into it to get used to your feet moving but it's no big deal.

"In Florida, it seemed they had me playing in a spot whenever we were missing a guy. You get used to it. It's not as hard as long as you think out there."

Nilson has become Mr. Versatility for the Flames, a fact which isn't lost on Iginla.

"He's a very talented player, a very smart player," Iginla said. "(Along) with Stephane Yelle, he is a real leader on the defensive part for our forwards but is also able to play offensively, too. He makes a lot of nice passes you don't always see."

Last outing, Nilson made the difference with his offensive ability, scoring the third-period tying goal that put the game into extra time and earned the Flames a valuable point.

That was his third goal of the season, to go with six assists. Nilson will be hard pressed to match or beat his career high of 15 markers set in 2002-03 but he's not too concerned.

"It depends on what kind of role you get on the team," he said. "If we win every game and I don't score all year, I wouldn't care. But for us to win, every guy has to produce a bit and any time you can step up, it's really nice."


Videos

Photos