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.