PENTICTON, B.C. — Jon Rheault is no longer the mane man.
He opened the prospects tournament as the main man for the Calgary Flames.
Rheault, whose long locks and surprising goal-scoring abilities made him a cult hero in Abbotsford for the AHL Heat in the spring, had them shorn before heading to Calgary’s rookie camp but apparently kept his sniping skills.
He collected a hat-trick and assisted another goal in pacing the Flames to a 8-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks Monday in Young Stars Tournament action at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Rheault, 24, bounced around the minors last season before arriving to a Heat team in the throes of an injury wave, and scored three goals in the final five regular-season games. He added six more in 13 playoff outings.
He was growing his hair for wigs for cancer battles, but had more than nine inches lopped off in the summer, after a few people in the organization made comments about his hair — including Flames head coach Brent Sutter.
“I pretty much got it from everyone,” said Rheault, who hadn’t told the brass why he was growing his hair. “At the end (of the summer camp), I did tell them what I was doing, and that made it a respectable reason.
“But I was still told to get it done before training camp.”
He may only have a AHL contract with the Flames, but the 2006 Philadelphia Flyers draft choice — 145th overall — has bounced around enough to the minors to know when he’s in the good books, provided he keep developing.
“I feel like I have a home an I’m hoping to keep going with it,” he said. “I got in a few days early and was able to skate with the big guys and I think it’s just getting in your head you can play with them.
“I’m not done yet, not happy where I’m at, and looking forward to the next step.
Bryan Cameron, Carter Bancks, Mikael Backlund, Josh Meyers and Keith Seabrook also tallied for the Flames, who play the Edmonton Oilers tonight.
John Kurtz, Jake Newton, Devante Smith-Pelly and Jake Carrick replied for the Ducks.