BRYAN WILSON – 06.16.2023
Fresh off signing a two-year, two-way contract with the Flames, Clark Bishop is feeling optimistic as he settles in for an extended stay in Calgary.
Not only did he land a well-deserved new deal – which was announced on Wednesday – but Bishop will also be getting married this summer to his fiancé Kathleen.
“It’s exciting times,” expressed Bishop.
As the 27-year-old Wranglers forward navigates wedding plans back home in St. John’s, Newfoundland, he remains committed to his off-season training, as well, which includes a heavy dose of strength and conditioning.
“I just want to maintain my strength and, overall, just come back in just a little bit better shape,” Bishop revealed. “I think coming into last season I was in pretty good shape; I was happy with where I was at so I’m not going to change too much.”
Bishop did have to make some adjustments when he first arrived in Calgary prior to start of last season, however. He had spent the previous two seasons with the Belleville Senators, and the Charlotte Checkers for four seasons before that, so playing out west for the first time in his AHL career – in Calgary specifically – required some modifications to his stalwart routine.
“The time change and the elevation were the biggest things,” revealed Bishop when asked about the challenges of playing in Calgary for the first time. “I noticed when I travelled out there that I was down weight significantly from where I was before (and) I didn’t really know why, because I didn’t really change much.”
“I asked the strength coaches there and they said the elevation, the time change, all that comes into effect,” he continued. “I slowly got back up to the weight I wanted to be, but that was definitely one of the biggest challenges when I first got there.”
Bishop appeared in 64 regular-season games for the Wranglers during the 2022-23 season, setting a career-high in goals (11), game-winners (4) and shooting percentage (12.8%). He became a fixture on a line with captain Brett Sutter and Kevin Rooney and took on a new challenge this season, playing primarily on the wing for the first time in his career … and he made the most of it.
“A couple of guys got the call up to the NHL, which gave me an opportunity to move up in the lineup and play on the wing,” he said. “I usually play centre, so this was my first time playing consistently on the wing (and) it seemed to suit me well. I liked it and got used to it and had two great linemates in Sutter and Rooney to help me out, and we just took off in the second half of the year.”
Bishop, now fully acclimatized, is thrilled to be in Calgary for the next two seasons.
“Just being a Newfoundlander … and there’s a lot of Newfoundlanders out there,” he joked. “It’s a great city, me and Kathleen love it there. The NHL team being in the same city, as well, makes a lot of sense.”