Steamboat Springs In college, former Steamboat Springs hockey player Ryan Dingle learned how important it is to live in the moment.
It's a philosophy the American Hockey League player has carried into a professional career he hopes someday will lead to the National Hockey League.
"You always want to live in the moment," Dingle said. "If you do that, and you stay focused on your goals, everything else will play out."
Dingle, who was playing for the Anaheim Ducks' AHL franchise in Des Moines, Iowa, was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers last week. The deal sent the Ducks defensive star Chris Pronger and Dingle to the Flyers in exchange for Philadelphia's promising right-winger Joffrey Lupul and defenseman Luca Sbisa. The Ducks also got first-round picks in 2009 and 2010, and a conditional third-round pick in 2010 or 2011.
Dingle isn't sure what the trade means for his future, but he's optimistic about the change.
"It's an honor just to be part of a deal with a player like Chris Pronger," Dingle said. "I'm very happy with the outcome. I'll have a new opportunity with Philadelphia, and it's exciting for me."
Dingle reported for a conditioning camp in Philadelphia earlier this week but will not know where he fits in until mid-September, when the Flyers hold their main camp.
"I have no expectations," Dingle said. "My end goal is to play in the NHL, and I'm hoping I'll get that opportunity in Philadelphia."
If he doesn't make the Flyers roster, Dingle expects to spend next season in Glen Falls, N.Y., with the Flyers' top minor league team.
However, Dingle hopes to make a mark at camps and possibly move up with the Flyers. He likes his chances in Philadelphia - a team loaded with highly paid defensive stars and opportunities for young offensive talent.
"Of course I'm hoping to stick," Dingle said. "I'm just going to go there and do my best. You never know what can happen."
Dingle has spent the first two years of his professional career in Anaheim's minor league system. Dingle bounced between the AHL's Portland Pirates in Maine and the ECHL's Augusta Lynx, which folded in 2008. Last season, Dingle spent the entire year with the AHL's Iowa Chops, for whom he scored 11 goals and collected seven assists.
The AHL and ECHL both are feeder programs for the NHL.
Many locals still remember Dingle, who attended The Lowell Whiteman School in Steamboat Springs from 1998 through 2000. Dingle left Steamboat to attend school in Eagle County during his junior year of high school. He spent his senior year in Des Moines.
He joined the University of Denver for that team's national championship season in 2004-05. He left college after his junior year to sign with the Ducks.
In other hockey news, part-time Steamboat Springs resident Tom Preissing joined the Colorado Avalanche last week as part of a trade that sent Ryan Smyth to the Kings.
Preissing and fellow defenseman Kyle Quincy were traded to the Avalanche along with the Kings' fifth-round selection in the 2010 draft.