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Flames need Aliu to play tough

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SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:29 PM ET

In a way, Akim Aliu feels like he’s starting from scratch.

And that’s a good thing.

“I’m super excited,” Aliu said after Friday morning’s skate with the Calgary Flames. “It feels like it’s happening all over again.

“It feels like my first game again.”

Aliu made his NHL debut last April, suiting up for the final two games of the regular season.

He scored twice, added an assist and spent a dozen minutes in the sin bin.

An admirable first step to a pro career, to be sure.

But it was followed up by a couple of steps back and one or two to the side.

The NHL lockout prevented the 23-year-old from even having a chance at cracking the opening-day roster.

A couple of injuries put the breaks on any kind of momentum he’d hoped to build with the AHL Abbotsford Heat.

And when the NHL finally opened the doors for business, Aliu didn’t receive an invite to camp.


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