Freddy Modin has played in 895 National Hockey League contests.
But that doesn’t mean the big Swedish left winger didn’t have a few butterflies before suiting up for game No. 1 with the Calgary Flames.
"There’s always some nerves in you," admitted Modin, who drew into the lineup Friday night against Columbus. "You get thrown into a new team and everything goes really fast.
"That first game is always fun to play and there’s always a little nerves in there too."
Last week, Modin was snapped up from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for a seventh round pick in the 2011 draft. The connection was in Flames acting general manager Jay Feaster, who was the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning while Modin was there.
He, and Brett Carson, who was with the Carolina Hurricanes, were the only new faces requiring new stalls in the Calgary Flames dressing room following the trade deadline.
After spending a few days with the team, both made their debut in Friday’s 4-3
"I’m very excited coming here," Modin said. "Seeing where this team is in the standings and the fighting and the battling that is going to go on throughout the rest of the year here.
"It really is exciting and it’s a lot of fun to get a chance to be part of it."
In the past three seasons, Modin has skated with four different teams in only 118 games. Most recently with the Thrashers this season, he had seven goals, 10 points, and was a minus-11. When he departed, Atlanta was just outside the Eastern Conference’s top-eight.
The Flames playoff status, on the other hand, changes nightly. After Friday, Calgary sat in fifth behind Chicago with 77 points.
However Modin said that getting the inital call about the trade — no matter what the situation — is never easy.
"I don’t know if shock is the right word," Modin said. "But it gets to you a little bit when you get that call. In life, it’s like anything else. But it goes really quick. You get the call from the team you are going to and start planning the trip and start packing your bags.
"The next day, you meet a bunch of new teammates."
For Carson, the 25-year-old defenceman was sweating on a stationary bike at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C., when he saw his name scroll accross the screen on T.V.; a waiver pickup who was now a Calgary Flame.
"I hadn’t even got the call yet," said the former captain of the Calgary Hitmen. "It came up right at noon. Kind of caught me by surprise.
"I was riding next to Ron Francis (Hurricanes associate head coach/director of player personnel), right when it popped up. Then I went in and talked to the coaches. I said my goodbyes, packed up, and flew out.
"Not much you can do about it."
Since leaving the Hitmen in 2006, Carson has been floating around the Hurricanes organization with the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League. From 2008 to early last week, he has starred in 72 games with Carolina.
But with the Flames, Carson’s slate is now clean.
"A fresh start," said the Regina native. "Another chance to prove I belong in the NHL with a new set of coaches, a new group of guys. That’s the most exciting part.
"This is just another opportunity for me."