Glencross fuelled by detractors

Flames forward Curtis Glencross may have left money on the table by signing with the team before...

Flames forward Curtis Glencross may have left money on the table by signing with the team before free-agency began, but his four-year US$10.2-million contract makes it so more will be expected of him after a career-high 24 goals this season.

STEVE MacFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:07 AM ET

The ink hadn’t even dried on the contract before the smile Curtis Glencross wore after agreeing to a deal with the Calgary Flames turned to a grimace.

A call from his dad, who was listening to a sports-talk morning show on the radio Monday after terms of the deal had leaked out, did the trick.

“My dad called me (Monday) morning, and (the show) was on,” Glencross said Tuesday at the Saddledome. “He was really pissed off.

“He said that it’s kind of disappointing that you take that kind of pay-cut to stay there and help the organization out and you kind of get turned on the day you signed.”

Agreeing to a four-year, US$10.2-million deal with a no-movement clause, both the Flames and the player walked away pleased with Glencross forgoing unrestricted free agency this summer.

It’s not always as easy to please the talking heads, airwave voices or ink-stained reporters, but Glencross will just use the early negativity as added motivation while earning his most inflated NHL paycheques.

“I’m excited. The coaching staff and organization showed a lot of confidence in me last year. I was utilized in every situation,” said Glencross, who netted 24 goals and 43 points in 79 games a year ago.

“I think that stepping stone we took last season is just going to go forward a lot more. Hopefully, we can get to that 30-goal plateau.

“At the same time, I’m one of the guys that plays against the top lines lots of nights and play that defensive and penalty-kill role.

“Hopefully, my numbers can be the same or higher, and I can take a little more pride in that department as well.”

Detractors will be curious to see what his encore will be after a career season.

In the past, teammates such as defenceman Dion Phaneuf and Glencross’ road roommate Rene Bourque have disappointed after cashing in on big-money, long-term deals.

For a guy like Glencross, who has to play the game with a gritty edge and determination to be at his best, there’s a constant balance being tested between comfort and confidence.

Struggling with the mental side of the game at times, the 28-year-old winger was an early scratch for a couple of games early last season before he found the right mix with the help of his coaches.

“They’ve put a lot of time in with me the last couple of years — Brent (Sutter) and Pie (assistant Dave Lowry) and them,” Glencross said. “You take a lot of pride in that when they actually take the time to sit down and talk to you — when they get confidence in you — and your game just escalates.

“We figured each other out.”

And if he keeps progressing, or even matches last year’s output, those voices upset with some of the terms of his signing this week will be quickly won over.

“If I’d have went to the open market, I probably could have got $500,000 to $700,000 more (per year),” Glencross said. “There’s still people out there saying I got too much money and why’d they do a no-move clause for me and all that kind of stuff.

“It kind of hits home. It’s kind of disappointing.”

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/MacfarlaneSteve


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