Boyd re-signs with Flames

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

From his home in Winnipeg, Dustin Boyd saw all the transactions his team was making.

One after another, the Calgary Flames brought in all kinds of young forwards with potential, all giving the squad options for second-line duty on the wing.

“When you’re not signed and you see all these guys getting signed, you get a little nervous,” Boyd said. “But I think they brought in a lot of solid players.”

Among those who’ve become Flames in recent weeks are buddy and fellow Winnipegger Nigel Dawes.

Boyd officially joined the fold yesterday, after re-signing a one-year deal worth US$650,000. It’s actually a slight cut in pay — his salary last season was US$675,000 and with bonuses upwards of US$742,000 — but the 23-year-old received a one-way pact, meaning there is pretty much no chance he’ll bounce up and down to the minors like he did late in the year.

Instead, he can concentrate on working his way up the ranks among the squad and inking a long-term pact.

“I wanted to get a one-year deal and see what happened,” he said. “Go out and have a good year and go from there.”

Boyd is coming off an 11-goal, 22-point campaign, but also spent a couple of weeks in the minors when the team’s injury wave and salary-cap crunch came to a head, a product of being the lone forward on a two-way deal and not having to clear waivers to report to the AHL.

Curiously, the third-round pick of the 2004 draft, 98th overall, played in the NHL all three seasons of his entry-level deal, and compiled 20 goals and 38 points in 132 big-league games, but he knows he’s yet to truly make it.

“I’m still really young. I’ve played games all three years, but I’m still relatively young and have a lot to prove yet,” he said.

Now, the 6-foot, 198-lb. winger wants to push for a bigger role.

The Flames have a couple of proven wingers in Jarome Iginla and Rene Bourque to skate on their top lines, plus David Moss is coming off a 20-goal campaign, but there is an obvious hole among the top-six forward spots.

Up for grabs is one of those top-six roles, with the likes of Boyd, Dawes, Fredrik Sjostrom and Curtis Glencross in the mix for it.

“That’s the spot I want to be in,” he said. “There’s going to be some healthy competition, and I think you want to make the most of it.

“That’s my plan. I want to get better every year. For me, it’s putting up more points, better numbers and improve my overall game.

“When they bring in guys you’re similar to, you know it means you have a good chance, instead of bringing guys in who are already slotted.”

Boyd, like Dawes, does have a rapport with new head coach Brent Sutter.

On top of facing Sutter’s Red Deer Rebels during his four WHL seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors, Boyd skated on Sutter’s gold-medal winning world junior championship team in 2006.

It’s a reunion Boyd is excited about.

“I know what to expect. You have to be hard working and he expects your best game in and game out,” he said. “He’s a great coach and I had success with him. I think he knows what to expect from me.”


Videos

Photos