CALGARY - Steve Begin is trying to get back to where it all began.
With "trying" being the key word.
The Calgary Flames offered the 34-year-old veteran centre a professional tryout contract, and Begin, who missed the entire 2011-12 season while recovering from hip surgery, quickly accepted.
“Everybody thought I was done,” Begin told the Flames’ website Tuesday. “But I love the game so much that I wanted to make a comeback.
“I’m doing everything to get to back in shape. I’m in great shape right now, and I’ll do everything I can to make this team.”
The Trois Rivieres, Que., product was drafted by the Flames in the second round (40th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft out of the QMJHL’s Val d’Or Foreurs.
Between 1997 and 2003, Begin suited up in 123 games in Calgary, posting 11 goals and 18 points, while also spending time with the team’s top American Hockey League affiliate in Saint John.
“I’m coming back to where it all started,” Begin told the website. “It makes it more exciting for me. I can’t wait to go back. I still have a few friends back in Calgary, and I know the city, so it’s going to be great. It makes the opportunity even better.”
Known for dropping the mitts and doing the dirty work, Begin will be one of many vying for a bottom-six role this fall.
He hopes his style will quickly endear him to newly appointed Flames head coach Bob Hartley.
“I’m the kind of guy that leaves it all on ice,” Begin said. “I also play with grit, which is something I know Bob likes. I think I’ll be a perfect fit.”
Begin has played 488 career NHL games, racking up 539 minutes in penalties with the Flames, the Montreal Canadiens, the Dallas Stars, the Boston Bruins and the Nashville Predators.
His best season came in 2005-06 when he scored 11 goals and 12 assists, while adding 113 PIMs with the Habs.
On Twitter: @SUNMitchell