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Fighting for Spots

Teenager Peter Holland and veterans Kyle Calder and Jassen Cullimore are at different levels in their NHL careers, but each has the game goal in training camp

Tuesday, 09.15.2009 / 8:04 PM / Features
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Fighting for Spots
By Matt Vevoda
Anaheim Ducks.com


A 2009 first-round draft pick in his first-ever NHL training camp, Peter Holland is at the opposite end of the spectrum in his career compared to established veterans Kyle Calder and Jassen Cullimore. But despite their vast differences in experience, each is fighting at Ducks training camp to prove they deserve a coveted spot on the team’s final roster.

"It's unbelievable how much the speed goes up and how much stronger the guys are," said 2009 first-round pick Holland. They are all a lot smarter and you need to play a smarter game yourself to keep up."
Holland will get his first crack at making a big impression tomorrow night when he takes the ice for Anaheim in the preseason opener against Phoenix at Honda Center. The 18-year-old, who has already played in the three-game Rookie Tournament at San Jose and taken part in each of the first three days of three-hour practice/scrimmage sessions at camp, understands the level of play will be even greater against the Coyotes.

“It’s unbelievable how much the speed goes up and how much stronger the guys are,” said Holland, who scored 67 points for Guelph of the OHL last season before being selected 15th overall by Anaheim in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. “They are all a lot smarter out here and you need to play a smarter game yourself in order to keep up.

“But,” he says, “It’s a lot of fun.”

When the clock strikes 7:05 p.m. tomorrow night, the center admits he’ll have some butterflies. But helping calm Holland will be the presence of Calder Trophy runner-up and 30-goal scorer Bobby Ryan on his line along with former Bowling Green University winger Dan Sexton.

"This is my third year in a row doing this and it is different," said Cullimore of being in training camp on a pro tryout agreement. "It can be a little tough. But the guys and the coaching staff are good here. They make players feel a part of it."
“I have a little bit of nerves out here in the scrimmage,” Holland said. “Going into an exhibition game playing against Phoenix, there are definitely going to be some. Hopefully, playing with Bobby will ease some of that because he’s playing unbelievable.”

For Calder and Cullimore, both in camp on pro tryout agreements and former teammates with Chicago in 2005-06, their chance to show their wares in exhibition games will wait at least one day. Though they are not in the lineup for Wednesday, the Ducks will have three more games the next three nights that they should see some action in.

“They are going to get an opportunity,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “I don’t think it would be fair to the players if you bring them in on tryouts and not let them play in some exhibition games.”

Being at camp on a tryout basis is nothing new for Cullimore. The 14-year veteran is doing it for the third straight year, having done so with Detroit in 2007 and Florida in 2008. He eventually wound up signing a one-year deal late in October with the Panthers each time.

While Cullimore says it can be an uncomfortable position not being under contract and unsure of what the next few weeks may hold, being given a shot is the most important part. He hopes he can stick around Orange County with his latest chance presented by the Ducks.

"The Ducks were a team I thought would do well in the playoffs last year and they did," said Calder (right), who played the last two season with the Kings. "They showed they can play. Hopefully, I can get in here."
“It’s a good team and it would be a good place to play,” Cullmore said. “That is what you look for when you are a player. This is my third year in a row doing this and it is different. It can be a little tough. But the guys and the coaching staff are good here. They make players feel a part of it. If you want to be a part of a team, you have to put yourself out there.”

A member of the Kings the past two seasons, Calder has seen plenty of the Ducks from the other bench. The nine-year pro is now vying for a permanent spot on the other side of the rivalry.

“It’s a great organization,” said Calder, a left winger with 292 career points. “The Ducks were a team I thought would do well in the playoffs last year and they did. They showed they can play. Hopefully, I can get in here.”

Whether it’s a teenager or 30-year-old among the 49 players with the Ducks in camp, it makes no difference – it’s all a battle to remain. “It’s been a good experience,” Calder said. “If I fit in, I fit in. It’s something I want to be a part of. I have to work hard and play my game.”

Said Holland, “I’m doing the best I can. That is what I’m here to do. I’m just here to play my game. Hopefully, they like what they see. I can just control what I do out there on the ice. The longer I’m here, the way better it gets.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 COL 62 27 24 11 166 179 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 60 19 40 10 59
C. Perry 48 26 17 13 43
R. Kesler 63 16 23 -2 39
S. Vatanen 57 12 22 6 34
M. Beleskey 56 21 9 13 30
P. Maroon 55 7 21 -4 28
H. Lindholm 60 6 22 17 28
J. Silfverberg 62 9 18 7 27
C. Fowler 62 5 21 -2 26
R. Rakell 52 5 19 4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 29 8 5 .916 2.37
J. Gibson 7 5 0 .914 2.63

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