When Sven Baertschi joined the Calgary Flames at the start of the NHL season, he was told by coach Bob Hartley it was up to him to write the book.
Baertschi now understands what makes a true classic.
“I always think the best books out there, they have a little drama,” said the players regarded as the franchise’s top prospect. “Usually, there’s there’s a happy ending.
“It wouldn’t be a great book if there was just happy stuff in there.”
Baertschi, 20, understands some of the disappointment and turmoil that comes with a hockey season.
Admittedly, Baertschi took it hard when the Flames sent him to the minors a month ago. At the time, he said he had “hit rock-bottom, confidence-wise”. Nobody should have expected the rookie to produce offence at a rate similar to his five-game stint last season during which he scored three goals, but he expected more than just one assist in 10 NHL games before the demotion.
Every Flames fan must appreciate the honesty and emotions the club’s 2011 first-round draft choice expressed. Now, he realizes a career in the game requires a better ability to handle the downs that can come with the ups.
Baertschi has the chance to write some happy chapters now, having been recalled Sunday from the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat. He joined the Flames in Vancouver in time to make the trip to Denver for Monday’s clash with the Colorado Avalanche (7 p.m., Sportsnet West, Sportsnet 960).