SUN Hockey Pool

Meyer makes case to stay

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

CALGARY -- Stefan Meyer can hold his head high no matter what happens before the Calgary Flames open the season.

Whether he stays with the NHL club or is sent to the AHL's Abbotsford Heat, which became more of a possibility with Monday's signing of Brendan Morrison, Meyer made a strong case for his career the past couple of weeks.

"If it doesn't work out, I can look at myself in the mirror and say, 'You scratched and clawed and gave it a good effort, learned a lot and set yourself up for maybe a future endeavour up here,' " he said after Sunday night's game.

"I just wanted to show everybody what I'm about."

A few weeks ago, Meyer, 25, seemed like a player who'd have a spin or two in the preseason and then head to Abbotsford to be a veteran forward on the young farm team.

That still may happen before Thursday's season opener, but he and Brett Sutter stayed by playing well and surviving what became a war of attrition in training camp, which saw Matt Stajan and coverted winger David Moss join Daymond Langkow and Ryan Stone on the shelf.

Those injuries created an opportunity.

"I've been in need of a break," said Meyer, the Florida Panthers' 55th overall selection in 2003. "I've put a lot of years of dedication into being a hockey player and always knew I could play in this league. If it doesn't happen, you'll see me again."

With his attitude, you can't help but hope so, even if it's an uphill battle.

But Meyer, who signed a two-year, two-way deal, knows things don't come easy.

The former Medicine Hat Tigers star had a four-game audition with the Panthers in 2007-08 and figured he was progressing to the next level.

Instead, he's spend the past two full seasons riding AHL buses.

"I went through three organizational changes and I wasn't anybody's guy anymore," Meyer said of his time with the Panthers. "It was a new face every year, but now somebody knows what I'm about and knows I'm willing to do anything to win a hockey game for a team. I'll be the first guy at the rink, be the first guy on a treadmill and the first guy in the weight-room. I'll do anything."

The Fox Valley, Sask., native credits Flames player personnel director Duane Sutter for the chance. Sutter was a coach with the Panthers when Meyer was drafted.

"I remember my first camp, him calling and ripping me a new you-know-what because I didn't do things professionally," Meyer said. "I showed up looking not like I should. He turned me around and taught me what it's like to be a professional ... I owe him a lot."

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