Steve Begin kept tugging on the flaming 'C' on his chest Friday as he tried to put into words the magnitude of the moment.

After a two–year hiatus – including a gruelling recovery from hip surgery – the 34-year-old centre somehow managed to earn an NHL roster spot with the same team that drafted him 40th overall in 1996.

The Calgary Flames.

"It's great to put this jersey on," he said. "I worked hard this past year. Sometimes, I was twice a day in the gym. I skated five to six times a week. I wanted to be ready. I didn't want to miss my chance. I knew this would be the last call for me, the last chance I would get.

"And I made it, so it pays off at the end."

Begin attended training camp on a professional tryout, and signed Friday a one-year, two-way deal worth $525,000 in Calgary and $75,000 in the minors.

Flames still want McCarthy around

The Flames have released defenceman Steve McCarthy from his tryout, but the two sides are negotiating a possible agreement that would see the 31-year-old remain in the fold.

"Ideally, we would very much like him to stay in the organization as a depth player," Feaster said. "It's an issue of what works for him. His family is back in the Chicago area, so we have some things we still need to sort out.