SUN Hockey Pool

Calgarian Kolanos looks to crack lineup

RANDY SPORTAK, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

It's not a stretch to call it a last shot for Krys Kolanos.

The Calgary product, a first-round draft choice back in 2000, certainly has run through his share of clubs over his hockey career to the point he's in Calgary Flames training camp on a tryout basis.

But the 26-year-old considers his presence to be more than his last shot least to get back to the NHL.

"I'm coming in here seeing this as a great opportunity that Darryl (GM Darryl Sutter) has given me," Kolanos said. "I'm very happy to be here and very excited to prove myself as an NHL player."

Kolanos, selected 19th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes at the 2000 draft at the Saddledome, has had a tough go proving himself to be an NHL player.

It seemed to be going well his first NHL season, 2001-02, when he had pocketed 11 goals and 11 helpers in 57 games for Phoenix, but then the wheels fell off.

He lost more than a year due to a horrific concussion suffered when hit from behind by Vaclav Varada.

Since 2003-04, he's played for in the NHL for the Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers, AHL teams in Springfield, San Antonio, Lowell, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Grand Rapids, as well as four different clubs in Europe, knocked for his sub-par defensive play and attitude along the way.

But the 6-ft.-2, 200-lb. centreman believes the second half of last season -- which he spent in Switzerland -- helped put his career back on track.

He left for Langnau and played for Zug in the post-season, scoring six goals in eight playoff contests. He also skated for Canada's Spengler Cup squad.

"I felt last year was a very solid year for me. We ended off on a good note in the playoffs there in Switzerland and I knew coming back and starting training May 1 there would be a new push to get back to proving to myself I could play at this level," he said.


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