Glencross not going anywhere
Hartley calls Flames forward an important building block
San Jose - First off, Curtis Glencross is beyond flattered to learn 25 National Hockey League clubs called the Calgary Flames about his services before the NHL trade deadline.
“Obviously, it’s an honour that teams are interested in me and want me,” Glencross said Friday afternoon before heading out into the California sunshine. “It’s pretty cool.
“I didn’t know. I had my no-move clause, and I was just hanging out and not really thinking of anything.”
Truth be told, Glencross wasted zero energy on a potential move, because the Flames assured him it wouldn’t happen. In fact, general manager Jay Feaster called Bob Hartley and asked his coach to tell Glencross that a media report claiming his availability was, simply put, garbage.
And, truth be told, Glencross, 30, wants it to stay that way. Calgary is home. Full stop.
Even though the Flames are full rebuilding mode, he intends fully on sticking around and seeing it through.
No matter how gruesome it might get along the way.
“It’s tough,” Glencross conceded. “I’m the kind of guy too that I wear my emotion on my face quite a bit. When I get frustrated, I’m not scared to yell once in a while on the bench or that kind of stuff.”
In other words, get accustomed seeing the Glencross scowl — especially on nights like Wednesday when the Flames fell 8-2 to their provincial rival (and his former employer), the Edmonton Oilers.
“With this transition stage, it’s almost like you’ve got to bite your tongue at times,” said Glencross, one of three alternate captains alongside Mark Giordano and Michael Cammalleri. “You’ve got to realize it’s a building step. We’re going to have a bunch of younger guys come in, and you’ve got to be a teacher for them.”
The teacher, in this case, is not a one for political correctness. But his raw skills, and open desire to remain a Calgarian, make him one of the precious few untouchables on a team in the process of being blown apart.
“We’ve got a couple of tough years ahead of us,” Glencross said. “We’re starting to turn the page, and working with the young guys.”
“It’s going to be a good task at hand.”
A good task? Try a monumental made even more difficult if the veterans are miserable over sinking some of the best years of their career into a team with pretty much zero chance of winning a Stanley Cup.
Glencross, for one, accepts the new reality.
“He’s certainly a very important building block for us,” Hartley said. “He’s a great competitor. Can play the power play. Can play the penalty kill. He’s a great skater. He’s probably our best skater up front.
“He’s a powerful guy.”
And perhaps even more crucially...
“He loves the community, Hartley said. “He loves to be a Flame, and that’s important. Where you want to be, who you want to be is very important when you’re trying to establish a solid foundation, a new foundation for a hockey club.
“You have to get those guys who will be committed to the success of this organization. And there’s no doubt in my mind that Curtis Glencross is a real Flame.”
Heading into action Friday night, Glencross had 14 goals and nine assists this season for 23 points in 33 games.
If this were a regular 82-game campaign, Glencross would be on pace for a career high of 35 goals.
With Jarome Iginla gone to Pittsburgh and the role of captain vacant, Hartley sees Glencross as one of the players filling the void.
“Sometimes when there’s a captain there, you as an assistant feel there are some boundaries that are set,” Hartley said. “You still want to be a leader but at the same time you have to be respectful of who is around you.
“Right now, that chair is wide open. I like what guys like Glennie, and Mark Giordano are doing. Matt Stajan is stepping up. We have many guys in the room who are stepping up.”
For Glencross, it’s about stepping up and staying put.
“I’m not a big city kind of guy,” said Glencross, who raises cattle just outside of Red Deer. “I like my grassroots. When I can play at home in front of friends and family all the time, I have fun with that.
“It’s one of them things where it’s an incentive. I’m an Alberta boy. I don’t want to disappoint. I want to turn this thing around.
“And I want to win.”
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