Thursday, 30 July 2015

NHLers Instructing at BWK Hockey School

The Wheat Kings' Hockey School is taking place this week at
Westman Communications Group Place
  Among the guest instructors at this week's Brandon Wheat Kings' Hockey School are Calgary Flames' forward Michael Ferland and Columbus Blue Jackets' forward Matt Calvert.

  Ferland has had an interesting few months.

  He became a cult hero in Central Alberta during the Flames' 2015 playoffs, particularly during their first round victory against Vancouver when he racked up a team-high 40 hits along with two goals and two assists.

  "I'm just trying to keep everything calm and not get too high and not get too low," said Ferland this week, "Just try to keep it as normal as I can.  The attention is nice, but it's not going to change who I am."

  Ferland also recently had a civil lawsuit dropped stemming from an incident outside an Alberta nightclub nearly three years ago.

  That means for the first time in his pro career, the 23-year old can simply concentrate on preparing for the upcoming season.

  "It's good.  It's nice to have it going with nothing hanging over my head," said Ferland, "Just having a good summer and looking forward to camp."

  The one thing Ferland will need to get out of the way first is a new contract.

  He became a restricted free agent on July 1st after his three-year, entry-level deal expired.

  Ferland did not file for arbitration, so there's no deadline for his next contract.

  A new contract isn't something Matt Calvert needs to worry about any more.

  He signed a new three-year, 6.6 million dollar deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this month.

  "It's definitely exciting and very comfortable too," said Calvert, "This is going to be my sixth year as a professional and I've been lucky enough to spend it with the same team.  It's going to be a big year, we made some  big moves this summer and the team is committed to winning so I know the boys are going to show up...we have a little bit to prove after last year."

  Among the new additions for the Blue Jackets is Stanley Cup winning forward Brandon Saad, who was acquried from the Chicago Blackhawks.

  Saad joins what Calvert considers to be a young but now experienced core of players with the Jackets.

  "Our team has kind of grown together.  We were one of the youngest teams two years ago and now we're kind of getting into mid-age, that core of the Blue Jackets," said Calvert, "We've been there (the playoffs) once and that was two years ago.  We were disappointed with our season last year and that's our main goal is to get to playoffs and after that, you never know what can happen."

  Calvert had 13 goals and 23 points in 56 games last season, and has 42 goals and 86 points in 209 career NHL games.

  The Wheat Kings' Hockey School continues at Westman Communications Group Place through Friday.

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