With three goals and 15 assists in 67 games with the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights last season, Tim Hambly would hardly be considered an offensive defenseman.
With three goals and four assists through the first seven games of this season, Hambly is the biggest offensive threat the Quad City Flames have.
What's the difference? He's really not sure.
"I wish I could tell you," Hambly said. "I just know it's been a good break to have three goals this early and not have to wait all season to get three. I guess it was just a good start, although I've hit a little bump in the road the last two games."
Hambly's been the Flames best weapon on a power play that has scored just four times on 52 chances. Two of his three goals and three of his assists have come on the power play.
"Tim is the type of player who is not excellent at anything, but he's really good at a lot of things," QC coach Ryan McGill said. "He plays with a lot of poise with the puck."
And, last Friday he showed the kind of teammate he is. Hambly stood up and took full blame for a short-handed goal the Flames allowed to Milwaukee to break a scoreless tie in the third period of a 2-0 QC loss. McGill said the video showed that there were two bad passes that led to the puck getting away from Hambly.
"The execution on that power play was messed up by a bad pass to Carsen Germyn and then a bad pass from Germyn to Hambly," McGill said. "He's a team player and that's the kind of guy he is. You can never blame one player on a play like that."
Despite the early-season offensive firepower, Hambly isn't calling himself a weapon just yet.
"Carsen and Dustin (Boyd) are 30-goal scorers and they'll get it going soon," Hambly said. "In the ECHL, I was an offensive defenseman, but here Calgary wants us to think defense first and let the skill guys do the scoring.
"Because of that, I wouldn't say there are any expectations on me. It would be nice to keep it going and it helps my confidence, but I know the forwards will start scoring in bunches here before long."
That's probably not a bad thing, especially early in the season while McGill counts heavily on his more veteran defensemen. Hambly, Brett Palin, Adam Pardy and Tim Ramholt are racking up big ice-time minutes while youngsters Matt Pelech, Gord Baldwin and Brad Cole get adjusted to the pro game.
That could mean for some tired bodies come Monday morning after the Flames play four games in five days at the i wireless Center starting Wednesday night against Manitoba.
"Obviously, you want to get lots of ice time," Hambly said, "but it can wear the body down. I guess we'll find out this weekend just how good a shape we're in.
"The coaches were the same way with myself, Palin, Pardy and Ramholt when we first came in together a couple of years ago. We were gradually brought along and then we started skating regular shifts."
QC Flames beat writer Jeff Wendland can be reached at 757-4971, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Tim Hambly -- Personal: Born April 27, 1986 in Medicine Hat, Alberta. He stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 189 pounds. -- Became a Flame: Drafted by Calgary in the 5th round (158th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. -- As a pro: In 153 professional games, he has 13 goals and 45 assists. -- Did you know? At the University of Minnesota-Duluth, he was teammates with former Quad City Mallards Drew Otten and Luke Stauffacher.
-- Personal: Born April 27, 1986 in Medicine Hat, Alberta. He stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 189 pounds.
-- Became a Flame: Drafted by Calgary in the 5th round (158th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
-- As a pro: In 153 professional games, he has 13 goals and 45 assists.
-- Did you know? At the University of Minnesota-Duluth, he was teammates with former Quad City Mallards Drew Otten and Luke Stauffacher.
Moline, IL Details
|(More Print Ads)|