Marek Hrivik spent six years in the Rangers organization but only made 21 appearances with the NHL club, compiling no goals and three assists. However, he was much more productive in the AHL, where he played in 270 games and scored 53 goals for the Hartford Wolf Pack. Predictably, the 2012 undrafted free agent wanted an opportunity to play on the biggest stage, and he said that was a big reason why he signed with the Flames this offseason.
“It’s never been a dream of mine to play only in the AHL,” Hrivik told NHL.com’s George Johnson. “So I’ve been looking for a different opportunity. I’ve been with New York for five years and it just wasn’t going to work there. I had a bunch of teams interested but I thought I had the best chance in Calgary and that’s why I signed there. Obviously the interest I felt from the organization was also important. That was probably the No. 1 thing. You always want to feel wanted.”
The 25-year-old left the Rangers organization earlier this offseason and quickly signed a one-year, two-way deal with Calgary. Of course, he understands that it’s still an uphill battle to make the team’s final roster.
“There are bunch of guys in a similar position as I am, I’d say, for a fourth-line spot,” Hrivik said. “Money-wise, age-wise. So I think it’s going to be a decent battle.”
Let’s check out some more notes from around the Western Conference…
- While former Norris Trophy winner Drew Doughty has been a mainstay for the Kings for nearly a decade, James O’Brien of Pro Hockey Talk believes the team should consider trading the 27-year-old. The writer notes that the organization would receive immediate salary relief, and he believes the Kings could convince another team to inherit a bad contract (like Dustin Brown and Marian Gaborik) in any trade for Doughty. A trade would also give the team a chance to get a head start on their rebuild, as they’d surely receive young players and/or draft picks.
- Veteran Patrick Marleau signed a three-year contract with the Maple Leafs earlier this offseason, and some of his former Sharks teammates were surprised that he left San Jose. “That was crazy,” former Sharks (and current Panthers) defenseman Jason Demers told NHL.com’s Dave McCarthy. “For him to make that decision, I know him well personally and I know that was probably the biggest decision of his career. I don’t think anybody understands on the outside how big of a decision that was for him. … In my head, after talking to him a little bit, I thought he was going to stay, but I think him and his family discussed it and I think it’s going to be a great thing for him.” Marleau, who had spent 19 seasons with the Sharks, compiled 27 goals and 19 assists in 82 games last season.
- Earlier today, Jaromir Jagr’s agent gave a “no comment” when asked about the rumors regarding the Flames.