Jackman made an impression on Flames coach

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:57 PM ET

Brent Sutter already had a fondness for the gritty Tim Jackman and the way he plays the game.

Having coached against the 6-foot-4, 210-lb. New York Islanders pest during his two-year tenure in New Jersey, Sutter suggested the Flames the free-agent pickup was a good idea.

Jackman's tenaciousness, physical play and character are traits some used to describe the playing career of his new coach in Calgary.

They have something else in common, although neither of them knew it. The Bob Nystrom Award -- given to the Islanders player who best exemplifies leadership, hustle and dedication.

Sutter was the inaugural winner in 1991. Jackman won it in 2009.

"That was a great honour. I'm sure (Sutter would) say the same thing," Jackman said when told both their names are tied to it. "That's a coincidence, I didn't know that.

"It was kind of a big deal to me. It was pretty special to win that award that year. I started the first few games in the minors, then I got called up and I played the whole season with the Islanders.

"I just tried to show the team every night I'd play hard. They rewarded me with the trophy."

The impression he left with Sutter as an opponent led to a reward in the form of a contract July 1. And a phone call from his new coach.

"He said he remembered me," Jackman said.

"He had some good things to say to me. When the coach has some good things to say to you, that gives you a boost of confidence coming to a new team."

The good things he had to say this summer spawned from bad things Sutter likely said when facing the Isles as coach of the Devils.

"He was a real pain to play against," Sutter said. "We had our run-ins.

"I liked him as a player when I coached against him because you knew every night what you were up against. He was going to be a real hard player to play against.

"The thing I like about him more than anything else is that he loves to win. He hates losing. That's a good thing. We need that."


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