What better way for right wing Spencer Foo to make his National Hockey League debut with the Calgary Flames than to play in the Battle of Alberta against the rival Edmonton Oilers Saturday night.
The Flames recalled Foo from the Stockton Heat, Calgary’s American Hockey League farm team, Wednesday in time for the Edmonton native to face the team he watched growing up.
“It’s going to be a cool night for me,” Foo told reporters. “Obviously, I have a lot of family and friends coming down from Edmonton, so it’s going to be a fun one.
“I grew up watching the Battle of Alberta all the time, so it’s just going to be special to finally be able to be part of it.”
Foo, 23, signed with Calgary after being one of the summer’s most sought-after free agents. He decided to go pro after his junior year at NCAA Division I Union College, where he tallied 26 goals and 36 assists in 38 games in 2016-17.
The Flames, Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers were among the teams that sought Foo’s services with Calgary winning out in the end.
“Calgary presented itself with a great opportunity & (it’s) also a team that’s right on the verge of winning,” Foo tweeted after he committed to the Flames in June.
Foo didn’t make the Flames roster out of training camp. Instead, he was sent to Stockton, California, where he was third on the team before his recall with 20 goals and 17 assists in 59 regular season games.
He scored goals in bunches in the AHL after netting only one goal in his first 19 minor league games.
“I think I was just giving other players a little too much respect out there and I wasn’t fully playing my game,” he told reporters. “But once I was able to get that out of my head and just started playing really hard and being hard to play against, I think that’s kind of when it all turned around for me.”
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Bruce Wong said:
Really enjoy your stories man. I got stories for you about the bigotry in hockey from my personal experiences in Nova Scotia and Toronto. Maybe we can meet up one day. I think there is obviously progress but as Obama and many others have said a very long way to go, that is for sure. I am curious how the dynamics are in the dressing room where everything goes and team player relations.