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Perhaps, these guys should be sharing a land-line.
With a direct dial from the Saddledome.
The Calgary Flames’ three latest forward call-ups — including Tuesday’s arrival, Zac Rinaldo — have been sharing an apartment in Stockton, Calif.
Alan Quine’s room, apparently the pick of the litter, had been empty for a few weeks while he was toiling with the Flames.
Now, with Dillon Dube and Rinaldo both getting a look with the big club, Quine suddenly has the whole place to himself.
“It has been a revolving door,” Dube acknowledged.
Indeed, it has.
With the Flames desperate for a spark, Rinaldo was summoned Tuesday from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat. As head coach Bill Peters summed up, “energy is not one of the things that he lacks.”
Two days earlier, it was Dube stuffing a suitcase for a big-league look-see, while Quine was reassigned to the minors after an eight-game stint at the NHL level.
Turns out, the 21-year-old Dube — the youngest of these three roomies — had been angling for a switcheroo with Quine. Just not like this.
“I was texting him every day like, ‘Hey man, what’s going on?’ ” Dube revealed. “Because I have a really small room with a tiny bed, and he has a big king and a master bedroom. Like, my shower is in my room. So I have no space.
“So every day, I’m like, ‘Hey, can I take your room? What do you think? You’re playing good up there, so let me take your room.’ ”
“He made sure he left a couple things in his room, just so I couldn’t go in there and unpack fully,” Dube said.
Although Quine would rather be hanging around the Saddledome, at least he has access to some additional kitchen supplies now that he’s returned to Stockton.
Dube and Rinaldo have colour-coded plates — you know, so you don’t get stuck scrubbing the scraps off a dish that you didn’t dirty — but apparently the man in the master bedroom doesn’t have his own dinnerware or cutlery.
Maybe he can borrow from one of his buddies?
“He’s gotta ask,” Rinaldo warned. “But as long as he cleans it, he should be alright.”
Rinaldo, of course, is hoping he won’t be back to that Stockton pad anytime soon.
Ditto for Dube.
And with Sam Bennett now considered ‘week-to-week’ after trying to tough it out through multiple injuries, there is an opportunity for the latest call-ups to turn this into an extended stay.
The 29-year-old Rinaldo isn’t likely to solve the offensive woes of a squad that had been blanked in back-to-back road games — he registered seven points, all assists, in 14 outings with the Heat before his recall — but the Flames were banking on an injection of speed and snarl from the fourth-line forward in Tuesday’s late date with the Colorado Avalanche.
“I think if this team sees myself out there forechecking, banging bodies, trying to score and trying to make those plays and keeping it simple and doing the right thing and creating energy doing that and playing hockey, I think that might open some guys’ eyes and they’ll say, ‘This guy is working his (butt) of for us, so we have to do the same thing for him,’ ” said Rinaldo, who arrived in Calgary with 15 tallies and 719 penalty minutes in 351 previous NHL appearances. “I think that might spark something and one goal leads into two and leads into four, and it’s contagious. Scoring and winning, it’s contagious. It’s going to start (Tuesday).”
Suddenly flying solo in that three-bedroom apartment back in Stockton, you can bet the 26-year-old Quine was rooting on his usual roomies in their audition against the Avs.
The numbers might not seem to add up — a hat-trick of left-handed forwards, two dinner plates and often just one roster opening in Calgary — but these guys are all pulling for each other.
“It’s comforting, in a way,” Rinaldo said. “Because we’re all going through the same thing as our roommates.”
Echoed Dube: “Honestly, I think it’s the best-case scenario because if a guy gets called up, you want it to be one of your good buddies and especially your roommate … When your roommate gets called, there is no better feeling. You’re happy for a guy when you get that close with them.”
With Rinaldo recalled, fellow winger Tobias Rieder was headed the other direction Tuesday, reassigned to the farm club.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019