In Green-er pastures

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

A few days after the Calgary Flames acquired Kyle Greentree, Darryl Sutter threw down the gauntlet.

Noted the Flames GM, Greentree has been knocked in the past for his conditioning, but Sutter added, "Like it or not, he will be in shape."

You could say Greentree took it to heart.

The 6-ft.-3, 212-lb. left winger moved to Calgary for the summer and has been working with Flames strength and conditioning coach Rich Hesketh.

"Just getting myself ready for training camp," Greentree said. "It's about getting used to everything, so it's not a shock. When I go in there, I want to be ready."

The roster for this week's prospects camp at the Saddledome is filled with players at least a year or more away from donning a Flaming C in a regular-season game.

Being on an entry-level contract, Greentree, 24, is also in attendance -- Dustin Boyd is in the same boat -- but Greentree sees this week as a chance to make a positive first step to stick with the big club when training camp begins in September.

The good news for him is the Flames have been interested in the Victoria, B.C., product since he was playing for the University of Alaska Fairbanks, though Greentree signed with Philadelphia after his junior year in college.

"I knew Calgary was in the hunt when I was coming out of college. At the time, I wanted to go somewhere I felt I could play right away," Greentree said. "It's not that I didn't want to go to Calgary, it was a numbers situation and the best fit for me.

"It's nice to come where you're wanted, feel you can come in, step up and contribute right away. What I'm looking for is a shot."

The trade to the Stampede City was a jolt.

"When I heard, it was a shock, but right away I came to the realization it's a Canadian team, a team I've watched my whole life and close to my family," he said. "Playing in a market like this, you can't ask for anything better. The pressure's on and you want to win games. It was like that in Philadelphia, but coming to Canada is a different atmosphere. It's awesome.

"When it happened, I talked to (Flyers GM) Paul Holmgren and he explained to me it was a business decision, a player for a player, and nothing against me or how I played.

"And when I talked to Darryl, he was really excited to have me with the team, and realized it's a good situation for me. He said I'd have an opportunity and it was up to me to make it happen."

The Flames surrendered defenceman prospect Tim Ramholt to make the swap.

Greentree spent the bulk of his first pro season with the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms, collecting 24 goals and 24 assists in 72 games along with 83 penalty minutes.

He also had a two-game stint with the Flyers, although he can't relate much about it.

"It happened so fast," he said. "Just being up there with the guys you watched growing up -- guys like Daniel Briere, Derian Hatcher, Jason Smith -- was a good feeling, but I was a bit star struck, got running around and not really playing my game from being really excited.

"From those two games, what I'm taking into this training camp is to be calm, keep my composure and play my game, then I'll be fine. I'm confident in my ability. I'm not going to do something I don't usually do on the ice."

And that game would be?

"I'm a power forward, but like to shoot as much as I can," said Greentree, who registered 17 shots on goal in one Phantoms playoff game.

"I love going to the net, the greasy places, to score goals.

"At the same time, I'm not going to shy away from a nice play or a big hit."


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