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Posted On Wednesday, 12.04.2013 / 2:34 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Giordano to return to Flames' lineup

CALGARY -- Calgary's captain is set to return.

The Calgary Flames will have defenseman Mark Giordano back in the lineup when they host the Phoenix Coyotes at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

"He'll be in the lineup," coach Bob Hartley said. "When you wear the 'C' not only are you a great player but you're a special person. Our best leader is coming back to our group and we're going to play him."

Giordano has missed the past 18 games with a broken ankle sustained in a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 21. He had seven assists and nine points in eight games and was averaging more than 25 minutes of ice time per game before the injury.

The Flames went 5-11-2 in Giordano's absence.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.27.2013 / 4:04 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks goalie Raanta set for first NHL start

CALGARY -- Antti Raanta knew well in advance he'd be making his first career NHL start against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, but that didn't stop the 24-year-old goalie from getting a good night's sleep.

It won't spoil his pregame nap either.

Told Tuesday he'd get the call against the Flames, Raanta has prepared for the start like the day was any other.

"It was like a normal day [Tuesday]," he said. "The night went good. Of course it's a big day for me. I don't want to start thinking too much that I start taking too much pressure. If I do that, I will see it on the scoreboard and that's not the plan, what I want to do.

"I'll try to get a good game day nap like a normal routine going on and not think about it too much because it's not going to go too well. I just have to be enjoying the moment and try to show everything what I have. This is a big day."

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Posted On Friday, 11.22.2013 / 3:38 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Jones excited for season debut with Flames

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames are wasting no time seeing what they have in a rejuvenated Blair Jones.

Summoned from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League after the Flames dealt Tim Jackman to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, Jones is set to make his season debut for the Flames when they host the Florida Panthers at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"I'm pretty excited," Jones said. "We had a pretty good roll going in the American league and to get back up here and get back in the game, it's fun."

Jones failed to crack the Flames' roster out of training camp this season but recharged his career with the Heat, leading the team with 20 points in 16 games before being called up.

"The message I told myself is don't go and sulk, it's not going to do you any good, so just work hard and play to your capabilities and good things will happen," he said. "I never got down on myself. I always believed in myself. I'm excited to get back here and get in the action and help the team."

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.20.2013 / 3:38 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blue Jackets after redemption against Flames

CALGARY -- The Columbus Blue Jackets are eager to erase a 7-0 loss Tuesday to the Edmonton Oilers from their memory when they hit the ice for the second of a back-to-back against the Calgary Flames.

"I think everyone in the room's embarrassed about our performance [Tuesday] night," Columbus forward Blake Comeau said. "Any time you lose like that, it's basically nothing you can take from the game. We're glad we get to play [Wednesday]. We get a chance to redeem ourselves. We know it's not going to be an easy game, but that being said, we come out and play the way that we can, try to get the two points, and then we can put the Edmonton game behind us and move on."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 3:23 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Smid faces former teammates in Battle of Alberta

CALGARY -- Ladislav Smid doesn't need a reminder that the Edmonton Oilers are coming into Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

The date was already circled on his calendar.

Traded from Edmonton to the Calgary Flames just eight days ago, Smid is thrilled to be facing his former Oilers teammates so soon.

"I'm really excited for this game," he said. "You obviously have to get it going here at home. It's always fun to get out there in the Battle of Alberta and especially for me. It's going to be a little bit different since I'm part of the Flames now."

Calgary acquired Smid and Olivier Roy in exchange for prospects Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit on November 8th, just the second time ever a trade has been completed between the two franchises.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 3:06 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flames pair mark milestones against Stars

CALGARY -- Eight years ago Dennis Wideman's only goal was to stay in the NHL for an entire season with the St. Louis Blues.

He's since managed that and then some.

Just a week shy of the anniversary of his first NHL game, Wideman will suit up for career game No. 600 when the Calgary Flames host the Dallas Stars at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

"I was hoping I would get a full year in when I first came in," said the Flames defenseman, who was 22 when he made his NHL debut. "That was about it. That was my goal at that point, just trying to stay, let alone play as many as I have now."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.12.2013 / 3:38 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flames hope Stempniak's return provides spark

CALGARY -- Having dropped three straight games and coming away from a four-game road trip with just two of a possible eight points, the Calgary Flames are searching for a spark at Scotiabank Saddledome.

They might have found one in Lee Stempniak.

Stempniak, who has missed Calgary's past seven games with a broken foot, is good to go when the Flames host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

"It's just hard to see the team lose," said Stempniak, who has four goals and nine points in 10 games. "I don't know if I would've made a difference at all, but it's just not being a part of it. You work so hard to be able to play the games. Anytime you're not playing it's tough, especially when you're not winning.

"Hopefully we can turn that around tonight."


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Posted On Friday, 11.01.2013 / 3:14 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Franzen, Backlund back for Red Wings-Flames game

CALGARY -- A pair of players will mark their return to the lineup when the Calgary Flames host the Detroit Red Wings at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

Mikael Backlund will get back into action for the Flames, and Johan Franzen will suit up for the Red Wings. Each player missed the most-recent game for their respective teams, albeit for very different reasons.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.30.2013 / 2:36 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flames look to stop red-hot Kessel

CALGARY -- One game after holding Alex Ovechkin off the score sheet, the Calgary Flames are tasked with trying to do the same against another of the NHL's hottest forwards.

Hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday for the first time since Feb. 14, 2012, the Flames will look to shut down Phil Kessel, named the League's Second Star of the Week on Monday.

"Before trying to stop him we'll try to contain him," Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. "We've watched quite a few of the Leafs' games in the past week and he's been very impressive. He's been very dominant and even with [Tyler] Bozak out of the lineup, last night with [Nazem] Kadri he didn't miss a beat. It just shows the depth of this organization right now. It's a good challenge."


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Posted On Saturday, 10.26.2013 / 3:35 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Giordano, Stempniak absent as Flames host Capitals

CALGARY -- Lee Stempniak and Mark Giordano will not be in the lineup for the Calgary Flames as they return to Scotiabank Saddledome to host the Washington Capitals after coming off their five-game road trip with just one win.

Stempniak and Giordano, who rank second and third in Flames scoring respectively, will both miss the game on Saturday with lower-body injuries.

"Both of them, they're great leaders in here," said forward Sven Baertschi, who is expected to dress in Stempniak's place. "They're a huge help for our team. With both of them out, there has to be other guys that have to step up and I think we have enough offensive power in here to score goals and we have enough defensemen that can play very well.

"Everyone has to just chip in a little bit of leadership and then problem solved."

Stempniak played 16:57 and scored the Flames' lone goal in Calgary's 5-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday to wrap up Calgary's 1-4-0 road trip. But he will be unavailable for the Flames. He has recorded a point in all but one game for the Flames this season and has four goals and nine points on the year.

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Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players