For two weeks, Adam Pardy got the taste.
As much as he appreciated it, he sure would like a full meal.
The defenceman spent a couple of weeks with the Calgary Flames last season, called up due to a couple of injuries along the blueline, and it was a glorious time.
Except for the fact he didn't play a single game.
"Yeah, I got to live like a Calgary Flame," he said.
"I was up for two weeks on the road trip when we won six games in a row and had a nice time."
The way it looks, the 24-year-old from Bonavista, Nfld., will be in a similar position again this season after signing a one-year, two-way contract yesterday.
Calgary's defensive corps is already overflowing with eight NHL-calibre defencemen under contract -- although it's believed they're actively trying to move Rhett Warrener, Anders Eriksson and Adrian Aucoin -- so the 6-ft.-4, 220-lb., blueliner is probably destined to start the season in AHL Quad City.
But he believes game action in the NHL is right on the horizon, provided he earns it.
"Last year was good. I was the last defenceman sent down, so you start the year only one step away. Then you get a taste of it and want more," he said.
Calgary's sixth round pick, 173rd overall, in the 2004 draft, Pardy collected five goals, 13 assists and 67 penalty minutes in 65 AHL contests last season. He was also named to Canada's roster for the AHL all-star game.
The biggest drawback to the season came when he suffered a broken bone in his foot from blocking a shot.
Pardy played through the problem for a few games, but eventually needed surgery.
"I messed it up pretty bad," he said. "But it's good now. I'm back training and skating without any problems."
Vernon nets Tampa job
Former Flames goalie Mike Vernon is Bolting for a hockey job in Florida.
New Tampa Bay Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie announced yesterday the Lightning had hired Vernon as special assistant to Brian Lawton, the team's vice-president of hockey operations.
Vernon's duties will be to assist in hockey-related matters and to help with the team's goaltenders.
"Mike's past experience and knowledge will be a true benefit to the organization," Lawton said in a news release.
Vernon is a five-time all-star who played 17 seasons for Calgary, Detroit, San Jose and Florida. He won the Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989 and Red Wings in 1997.
The 45-year-old retired in 2002.
Vernon is a shareholder in Victoria, B.C.'s Bear Mountain resort, which is headed up by Barrie. Vernon and Barrie were teammates in Florida.