SUN Hockey Pool

Lundmark decision

STEVE MACFARLANE

, Last Updated: 6:12 AM ET

Jamie Lundmark has always had the talent to be a regular in the NHL.

Keeping things simple instead of looking to capitalize on that natural ability every shift is what has landed him his current role down the stretch in a second go-round with the Calgary Flames.

He made a splash in his first stint, coming over at the trade deadline in 2006 and putting up 10 points in a dozen games.

The follow-up was disappointing, and he was shipped to the Los Angeles Kings after earning just four assists in 39 games with the Flames in 2006-07.

This time around, he's buying into the Flames mentality more than ever.

"I'm just going out, playing simple, playing hard. I'm trying to just play hard before anything else. Just go out there and work. Opportunities open up, plays open up after that. That's basically my mindset right now," said Lundmark, who put up 91 points in 70 games for the WHL Moose Jaw Warriors in 1998-99 before being drafted ninth overall by the New York Rangers.

"It's a little bit of a change. In past years, maybe I was thinking, trying to make the play first, or trying to create something first before putting the work in. It seems to be working for me right now."

With a goal and an assist in Saturday's 3-2 win over the Wild, Lundmark has upped his totals to seven goals and 15 points in 20 games since being called up from the farm.

Maturing a great deal on and off the ice since his turbulent trip through the Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Flames and Kings systems, Lundmark has become a sponge, soaking up little pieces of experience and adding them to his arsenal.

"I've definitely learned a lot in the last three, four years, just being in different places, different situations," said Lundmark, who played in Russia last year before getting back into the AHL.

Starting this season with the Quad City Flames -- where he was reunited with former coach Ryan McGill from a lockout stint with the Hartford Wolf Pack -- Lundmark hit a new level of confidence after signing a one-year, two-way deal with the Flames in another hopeful move to prove he could make it at the top level.

"He always seemed to be a guy that could really push me. I feel like I play hard," Lundmark said of McGill's influence. "I put in a lot of work with him this year. I think that definitely helped me out this year, just confidence-wise. He played me 25 minutes a game. It helped."

Paying off with nearly a point-per-game pace for the Baby Flames, the ultimate reward was a return to the parent club.

"It's been a different ride for me, but it seems to be paying off a little bit," said Lundmark, who hopes to keep things rolling against the San Jose Sharks tonight at the Saddledome.

He knows from past experiences, most notably what would have been his first full season with the Flames, that he can't stop working for it.

"Those things happen," he said of his slide. "I kind of stuck with it. I've obviously learned from that. I think that year, I learned a lot about how I had to play to be in this league, and what I needed to do to be in this league. I still use those things today."

And today, he's using his talent to make the best of his second opportunity in the Flaming C.

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos