'Fighting for a spot every night': Young Flame stays on the roster
CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames could’ve take the easy way out and sent Dillon Dube back to Stockton.
But because of the way he's playing, he could be staying around for a while.
Instead, the Flames are taking a gamble by putting veteran forward Austin Czarnik on the waiver wire where he can be claimed by any other NHL team.
That’s a good sign for Dube, but the 21-year-old says he doesn’t want to get caught up in that. He says things can change in a hurry.
"Can’t get comfortable. I’ve got to come out every game and put my best foot forward just for the team," he said. "It helps the team a lot if I can do that and be ready to go every single night."
Dube certainly looks like a different player from the one back at training camp. He’s chipped in with three goals and four assists in 14 games.
But it’s not just about the offence, according to interim head coach Geoff Ward.
"His time in the American League was well spent," Ward said after practice on Wednesday. "I think the coaches and the players did a real good job showing him what it means to be a really good pro. He’s come up here much better away from the puck and much more comfortable with it. So his progression with us right now is right on track. He’s playing well."
As much as it hurt Dube to be sent down to the American Hockey League earlier this season, he knows it was probably the best thing for him.
"I just feel more comfortable with the aspect of it every day," he says. "It’s a lot different than junior. It’s a job and you’ve got to be ready to play. You’re fighting for a spot every night."
Dube skated on a line with Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund at practice on Wednesday as the Flames prepare for Thursday night's clash against the Montreal Canadiens.