Monahan-mania is showing the Calgary Flames and their fans kids are all right.



Lee Stempniak is happy to show that those on the other side of age 30 can be a big part of the Flames fortunes too. And maybe even part of the future.

Stempniak has been tagged his whole career as a streaky scorer. So far this season the right winger has a pair of four-game point-scoring streaks which sandwich the one game this year he’s been held off the scoreboard.

“It’s trying to be a difference-maker every time you go out there every game” Stempniak said. “Fortunately right now I’m getting some points. I think that if you’re playing well and you’re consistently playing hard — for me that’s skating moving my feet and from there getting chances — you’re going to get points more consistently and things feed after that.

“So far I’ve been getting some bounces from just going to to the front of the net and scored a couple of goals that way.”

As the Flames ready to conclude their five-game road trip Thursday against the Dallas Stars (6:30 p.m. Sportsnet Calgary Sportsnet FAN960) Stempniak has collected three goals and eight points in nine outings.

He first was riding shotgun with rookies Sean Monahan and Sven Baertschi but is now bouncing between lines even placed alongside Curtis Glencross in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes likely in an attempt to get the fellow veteran winger’s game going.

“I feel pretty good” said Stempniak who’s twice eclipsed the 20-goal mark. “I had a really good summer in terms of working out and came into training camp feeling good. The pre-season games could have gone better but when I scored early I felt good.

“So far I’m getting a lot of shots and a lot of chances.”

His performance is earning those scoring chances and kudos from a coaching staff that knows Stempniak can be counted on to help mentor players and with the way he’s playing adjust to other roles.

“Stempy is the ultimate team guy” said head coach Bob Hartley. “He’s the ultimate pro. I can use him in offensive roles I can use him in defensive roles. He is a real smart hockey player on both sides of the game.

“Sometimes I need to juggle and guys like that give me options.”

What the future holds for Stempniak though is one of the mysteries surrounding the Flames. He’s among the cast of vets who are due to become unrestricted free agents after this season so they could be on the trade block if the Flames do the expected and fall out of the playoff chase.