SUN Hockey Pool

Flames backup not bitter

Curtis McElhinney says he's not bitter at the prospect of Curtis Joseph joining the Flames. SUN...

Curtis McElhinney says he's not bitter at the prospect of Curtis Joseph joining the Flames. SUN MEDIA FILE/Darren Makowichuk

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 3:40 PM ET

NASHVILLE -- The current backup isn't getting his back up.

As far as goaltender Curtis McElhinney is concerned, the signing that will bring veteran Curtis Joseph to the Calgary Flames this week is still rumour.

The team said yesterday it has agreed to a deal in principle and is awaiting a physical and official approval from the league -- likely tomorrow with Joseph expected in Calgary today for examination.

McElhinney, though, isn't being kept in the loop.

"Nobody's said anything to me yet so, as far as I know, I keep skating. As of right now, I guess I'm still on the team," the 24-year-old said outside the locker-room after yesterday's morning skate.

"I guess until somebody says something -- either that or (Joseph) shows up personally and starts skating -- then I'll know otherwise."

Finishing the week with the Flames is unlikely, but McElhinney is taking it all in stride.

"If you're asking if I'm bitter about it, no, absolutely not," said the down-to-earth kid. "If I get the opportunity to go down to the minor leagues and play for Quad Cities, that'd be nice. It'd be fun to get in some games again.

"The part that I miss the most about being here right now is that I haven't gotten to play a lot of games. If I got that opportunity to go down there and play, that'd be great."

His good nature is one of the reasons teammates tend to mention McElhinney when addressing the addition of Joseph.

Flames captain Jarome Iginla appreciates the presence Cujo will bring.

"His experience, his career has been pretty impressive," said Iginla. "On the other hand, Curtie has done a good job for us. He works very hard in practice. He's a good young goalie."

Craig Conroy also had mixed feelings about the situation.

"You feel bad for Curtie in the whole thing, too, because he didn't get to play any games really -- one," said Conroy of McElhinney's single NHL start.

"But I can understand where (GM Darryl Sutter)'s coming from, too. He wants to bring in a veteran goalie to have that presence and feel comfortable.

"It's a catch-22 because we all like Curtie, but Joseph's going to bring a lot of leadership and veteran presence. I've heard a lot of good things about him and look forward to meeting him."


Videos

Photos