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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nystrom joins Gordon and Okposo on Team USA

<<Nystrom not aiming for Isles
Last Updated: April 14, 2010 6:27pm

Although his father is Mr. Islander, Eric Nystrom says no one should
jump to a conclusion he's bolting Calgary for New York as an
unrestricted free agent.

Bob Nystrom is still associated with the New York Islanders, one of
30 teams open to bid on Nystrom come July 1.

But Eric Nystrom feels part of Calgary after playing all 204 games of his NHL career with the Flames.

"That's purely speculation because I have a connection with them,"
said the Flames winger, who was a first-round draft pick by the team in

"This is where I've always been and this is where my roots are. Every player doesn't play for their home team. At this moment, I haven't
thought about that. I'm still upset there are other teams playing and
we're not."

Nystrom's hockey season isn't finished anyway. He has accepted an
invitation to join Team USA at the world championships in Germany
starting May 7. Flames teammate David Moss will join him and defenceman
Mark Giordano will suit up for Canada.

"I've played in world juniors and under-18s, and it's a thrill to
represent your country. I'm excited for the chance to do it again,"
Nystrom said at the Saddledome during Flames garbage-bag day.

"It should be a lot of fun. I'm very excited. This is a great
opportunity. I was feeling great at the end of the season after the
Olympic break so I'm excited to continue to play some hockey."

Nystrom had a strong season for the Flames on the fourth line,
considering he had a groin injury midway through that he only revealed

Despite the ailment, the 27-year-old played all 82 games and finished with 11 goals and 19 points, both career highs. He was also even for
the first time in his career.

"It started off well and I came out of the gate strong but I suffered a groin injury in the middle of the season and that hampered me,"
Nystrom said.

"It kept me from playing my game. It made me take a step back. I had a chance during the Olympic break to rest and recover and come back the
way I was at the start of the year. It felt great to do that. Overall,
it was a solid year but I wish that didn't happen.

"I wasn't as fast and I could get in there and do things I wanted.
It was frustrating. For a long time too. The only positive from the
Olympic break was the rest I got."

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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