Philadelphia freedom

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- Despite arriving in the City of Brotherly Love well after midnight the night before, Tony Amonte was up and about around 8 a.m. yesterday.

A few jitters about facing his old team, maybe?

Anxious for tomorrow night's clash against the Philadelphia Flyers, possibly?

Not really, according to the Calgary Flames forward.

Just a case of a parent, like most, being used to early rising.

That's not to mean Amonte is totally blase about coming back to Philly.

While most NHLers play down a return, Amonte admitted a little excitement about the place he called home for a solid 2003-04 campaign and part of the season before.

"I spent a couple of good years here," he said. "It was a good town to me and a good team. I had a lot of fun."

After being acquired from Phoenix in March 2003, Amonte went on to play 93 regular-season games for the Broad Street Bullies, netting 27 goals and 41 assists.

His stint also included a trip to the 2004 Eastern Conference final, which the Flyers lost in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Through that post-season, the longest of his career, he netted three goals and five assists in 18 games.

It is the fourth time Amonte has faced a former team but there is a difference this time around.

When the lockout ended, he was bought out of his contract by the Flyers before signing a two-year, $3.7-million US pact with the Flames, only to see the Flyers ink Peter Forsberg, Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje to Flintstone-sized cheques.

"That doesn't make this any different," Amonte said. "It feels the same. At least right now. I don't know how it'll feel when I get on the ice but it feels the same to me right now."

Besides, Amonte has happily moved on.

He and his family have settled nicely into Calgary and he's found his form after a slow start, going into tomorrow's game with seven goals and 10 assists.

Meaning he'll face the Flyers not looking for revenge or to prove they shouldn't have let him go.

Not even with any high hopes career goal No. 400, a milestone he needs one more tally to reach, will be one he can shove in anyone's face.

Just with intentions of scoring a win at the Wachovia Center.

"You definitely want to play your best but I just want to go out there and do well," he said.

"We need another win."


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