Move to Calgary has Greentree excited

by Mike Board ||

Soon after being acquired by the Calgary Flames in June, Kyle Greentree made the move to Calgary.

"I wanted to come in and get ready and be comfortable when training camp started," said Greentree.

Training camp officially arrives Friday as Greentree (right) and 24 other Flames prospects report.

The first day includes fitness testing and meetings with coaches with the first on-ice session slated for Saturday. Following the on-ice session the prospects will board a bus for Camrose to play two games in a rookie tournament against counterparts from the Edmonton Oilers (Sept. 14, 7 p.m. at the Encana Arena) and Vancouver Canucks (Sept. 15. 7 p.m. at the Encana Arena) before returning for more practices at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Tuesday.

Greentree, 24, was acquired from Philadelphia on June 30 for defenceman Tim Ramholt. He signed with Philadelphia as a free agent after spending three seasons with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

"It kind of came as a shock when I got the call but right when I heard I was going to Calgary it put a smile on my face. Growing up in Western Canada, I couldn’t ask for anything better than that. I didn’t think I was going to get traded but that is the way it works. That’s the business. I am ecstatic to be here," said Greentree, a native of Victoria, B.C.

In 72 games last season, his first as a pro, with the Philadelphia Phantoms, the Flyers AHL affiliate, he tallied 48 points, evenly split between goals and assists. He also played in two games with the Flyers.

While he was a little surprised at the trade, Greentree had been on the Flames radar during college.

"It’s nice that they followed me through college and that they were one of the teams I had looked at signing with out of college. Not that I didn’t want to sign with them. It came down to opportunity and Philly was a good fit. I had a good first year there I thought. I played alright. Now coming here it’s kind of a new start to show that I can play here. Basically that’s all I can ask for, just to get an opportunity," said Greentree.

To further that opportunity Greentree came to Calgary in early July to begin workouts with Flames strength and conditioning coach Rich Hesketh and get acclimatized to Calgary.

"I already feel good. I feel stronger. It benefited me," said Greentree.

At 6’3", 215 pounds, Greentree is no shrinking violet. He is a big body who likes to go to the net.

"I’m a big power forward. I like to score goals. I like to go to the areas to score goals in front of the net. I like to use my size to my advantage. what it breaks down to is I will do whatever it takes to make this team, whether it is playing a fourth line role. Doing anything to win games. Just do whatever the coaches want. And if I can contribute a few goals, that’s the plan," said Greentree.

It’s a plan that can now be put to the test as the reporting of prospects signals the start of a new hockey season. A season in which Greentree hopes to be wearing the Flaming C.

"That’s the goal. I want to make this team out of training camp. It’s exciting," said Greentree.