Flames brush up on paintball

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:07 AM ET

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Calgary Flames were fighting amongst themselves Wednesday, but it was actually a good thing.

With a day off following their win over the Colorado Avalanche, they played some paintball in the desert.

“Our team dominated. It was Canadians, pretty much, versus the Europeans and the States, and we just kind of throttled them,” said Flames winger Curtis Glencross, looking around the locker-room after Thursday’s practice at some of his opponents from the battlefield.

“There might be some pretty bitter players in here.”

Bitter? Not outwardly.

But Olli Jokinen was willing to admit defeat.

“Yeah, for sure. We were bad,” he said. “Even though we had a couple of guys who’ve been in the army, it didn’t really help. They were dominating, big time.”

The team felt the couple of days between games allowed for a great bonding opportunity, so they headed to Scottsdale for some fun.

“Especially earlier in the year, it’s a chance to get to know some of the guys you didn’t know as well, get the group together,” said winger Alex Tanguay.

“And with our start, get away from the distractions a little bit .. It was fun. Everybody enjoyed it.”

Even the losing team.

“It’s a good team-building session,” said Jokinen. “We got a good laugh and a good sweat at the same time.

“Now you know how it feels to block the shot, too. It doesn’t hurt that much, so maybe we’ll be in the shooting lanes a little more.”

All-star draft praised

His players hadn’t heard much about the new NHL

All-Star Game format, but Flames head coach Brent Sutter thought the fantasy-draft style splitting of the teams is an intriguing twist.

“It’s pretty interesting. A lot of pressure on the captains,” he said of the format that will see two captains pick their teams from a pool of players voted to and chosen by the league.

“It’s amazing, you’re going to have stars taken last in the draft. Somebody has to go last. You’re going to have 40 pretty good players there, so there’s gonna be some guys taken in the bottom half that have never been taken in the bottom half of any draft in their life.

“It’s something different. It’s interesting. It’ll make some excitement through that. I’m sure guys will be wondering where they’ll be taken, what team they’re going to be on.”


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