A pre-season shoulder injury derailed Eric Nystrom's plan of sticking with the Calgary Flames a year ago and he can hardly contain his enthusiasm for another shot.
"I can't wait to get on the ice. I'm so psyched, it's not even funny," said Nystrom, who had surgery to repair a tear in his right shoulder in December after injuring it during an exhibition game against the Edmonton Oilers.
"I'm feeling great. I've been rehabbing my shoulder all summer and it feels 100 percent. I'm ready to go out there and put it to the test and throw it into some people."
He'll have that opportunity soon enough. Rookie camp hits the ice today, and with 11 forwards on one-way contracts, the cream of the crop in camp could stick for the season.
"Since the first training camp I've been here, I've really wanted to make the team here and thought I had a good chance," Nystrom said. "Last season, it got cut short because I got hurt in the pre-season, which was a major letdown. But I'm here, I'm 100 percent, and I'm ready to go out and make this team."
After rehabbing until the end of last October, Nystrom returned to Omaha and suited up for a few games but the pain was too intense.
He had surgery in New York and made an early return to play a limited role in the playoffs.
But the setback hasn't taken away from Nystrom's positive attitude.
"The way I look at it is it's a grain of sand in my career," he said.
"I hope to have a long career and that injury will be something that I don't even see -- in 10 years, after winning the Cup a couple times."