Dustin settles after trip down

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Bouncing between the minors and the NHL the past couple of seasons didn't prepare Dustin Boyd for the wild ride of the last 24 hours.

Spending more time in the air than on the ground since being re-assigned to the AHL yesterday afternoon for salary-cap reasons, the Calgary Flames forward arrived in Vancouver in time for a little breakfast before joining his teammates for the morning skate and last night's regular-season opener.

"I think some of them missed me," Boyd said with a laugh. "Craig (Conroy) missed me for sure. I think they're happy to have me back -- I hope."

He's certainly glad to be back.

Following a stellar training camp that saw him score seven points in five pre-season games, Boyd had to be sent down so the team could come in under the $56.7-million cap.

When Rhett Warrener was officially placed on the long-term injury list yesterday, Boyd was able to rejoin the Flames. His route to the west coast was a little longer than the rest of the squad, but teammate Wayne Primeau said from the next stall in the locker-room the 22-year-old would be fine.

"He's young," Primeau said with a grin.

"Yeah, I'm young," answered Boyd. "Nothing fazes me anymore."

Truth is, he didn't have reason to be concerned.

He had a feeling he'd be back sooner or later.

"They talked to me and said that I'll be back up soon," said Boyd, who was asked if his confidence was at all shaken after the transaction. "I don't think so. I talked to them and they said I played well."

Confident enough he's here to stay now, Boyd returned to find a new number on the back of his jersey. Proof of his confidence is the fact he asked for it.

He debuted in his old, familiar No. 16 last night.

"It was something that I wore growing up, pretty much everywhere I played. I was lucky enough no one had it this year and I just asked if I could get it," said Boyd of the digits he displayed during a tremendous junior career with the Moose Jaw Warriors, with Team Canada for the world juniors, and in the AHL with Omaha and Quad City.

"I talked to the trainers in the last year, saying if you don't give it away, maybe you could hold onto it for me. I asked yesterday. The trainers were good about it and gave it to me right away.

"That's the number I always envisioned myself playing in the NHL with. I'm lucky to have it. Excited."


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