In the Mountains Day 1

The Calgary Flames have headed west to Banff for three days during their week off prior to Saturday’s regular season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Good news had Jarome Iginla and Brendan Morrison back on the ice taking part in full practice, with neither guy wearing yellow "no-contact" jerseys.  The bad news had Mikael Backlund not on the ice after having surgery to repair a broken finger.

Backlund’s surgery went at around 1 pm Calgary time on Tuesday, and apparently went well.  He’ll be out of the lineup for around six weeks we’re told, which is disappointing, because many of us were hoping to see the young centre take another step forward, like he did the year prior.  Head Coach Brent Sutter had indicated earlier in the summer that Backlund was the likely choice to play on the top line with Jarome iginla and Alex Tanguay.

Speaking of the captain, Jarome was back on the ice for the first time in more than two weeks, taking part in full practice on a line with Tanguay and David Moss.  That was the likely choice in my mind upon hearing the Backlund news, but I’m not sure how long we’ll see that look last, as here were the lines today in Banff.

Alex Tanguay-David Moss-Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross-Olli Jokinen-Lee Stempniak
Niklas Hagman-Roman Horak-Rene Bourque
Tom Kostopoulos-Matt Stajan-Tim Jackman
Raitis Ivanans-Brendan Morrison-Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond

That extra line is not one that is going to stay together, as Morrison is going to move up the depth chart.  Sutter basically said Roman Horak will be sticking with the team to start the regular season, so when Morrison is ready to take a spot as one of the top four centres, there’s a good chance Moss returns back to the win with Jokinen and Glencross.

On the blueline, the Flames have placed Jordan Henry on waivers in an attempt to return him to the American Hockey League.  Teams have until Wednesday at 10 am to claim Henry, who was acquired by the Flames from the Florida Panthers this summer in exchcange for Keith Seabrook.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Under the circumstances, I can live with those top 4 lines. Hopefully BMo can quickly be moved up to replace Stajan (ideally) or Horak (realisticly).

    Let Moss have October on the top line.

  • SmellOfVictory

    I want to punch the person who slashed Backlund, in the face. Jackass ruining one of the few things I was looking forward to at the beginning of the season.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    If there was an opportunity for Stajan to move up from the last line, you’d think it would have been now. Is this Brent Sutter way of pushing Stajan to work hard for a better line, and more ice time? I can’t see Sutter pushing him the same way he went after Glencross last season. If the guys confidence is shot, the last thing he needs is a coach screaming and breathing down his neck

  • ChinookArchYYC

    If there was an opportunity for Stajan to move up from the last line, you’d think it would have been now. Is this Brent Sutter way of pushing Stajan to work hard for a better line, and more ice time? I can’t see Sutter pushing him the same way he went after Glencross last season. If the guys confidence is shot, the last thing he needs is a coach screaming and breathing down his neck

  • Vintage Flame

    I think once Morrison is back in the line up, if what you say Pat, is true, and we see Moss back on the wing.. I’d have to think Kostopoulos is the odd man out then?

    Moss goes back to OMG. Which would move Stempniak down to the line of Bourque and Horak. And then Hagman to Stajan and Jackman’s line?

    I guess provided Stemper can play the left wing?