Rookie anxious to be Pard of the plans

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

You can understand Adam Pardy not wanting to get ahead of himself.

The Calgary Flames decision to waive defencemen Rhett Warrener and Anders Eriksson leaves seven blueliners on the roster, including Pardy. However, he doesn't want to consider himself one of the gang until the official opening-day squad is announced today.

"I haven't heard anything, so I want to take it as it comes," he said.

That said, Pardy knows where the first phone call will be placed if and when he does receive final word.

"My dad. He's been the most excited to see me play," he said.

His dad, Stan, is currently working in Lloydminster.

Pardy's reason for being a little gun-shy is two-fold.

First of all, decisions in the NHL can be made in an instant, and situations change just as quickly. Secondly, it was last December he was summoned from the minors and spent a couple of weeks with the team, but he saw not one second of action over eight games.

Even though he had that spell with the Flames, Pardy feels more like he's a newcomer than a returnee.

"It's a new year and a new beginning. You've got to treat it as a new start," he said. "Last year, I was up and didn't play, but it was good, and it was fun. I learned a lot.

"Just being around the guys gives you confidence, and being comfortable around the players. Seeing how things work helps, too. It's a little different than the AHL and a bit of an adjustment."

Pardy, the No.-7 defenceman with the Flames the way things are shaping up, has faced a long climb to the NHL. A classic example of a late bloomer, the 6-foot-4, 206-pounder from Bonavista, Nfld., was drafted in the sixth round in 2004.

In his first pro season, he spent half the year in the ECHL and the last two years -- save for those couple of weeks -- in the AHL.

He's a testament to working hard and making the most of opportunities.

"It doesn't matter where you got drafted or where you come from, anything like that," he said. "You've just got to keep getting better. How you develop is gonna determine where you end up."

Still, there must be that watershed moment when Pardy believed he could make it.

"Last year (in training camp), I was so close, and you realize you are only one step away," he said. "Then you know you just have to put in a little more work, a little more determination and it can be accomplished."


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