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At the Rink blog

Westgarth could make Flames debut against Flyers

Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 2:08 PM

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

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Westgarth could make Flames debut against Flyers

CALGARY -- If Kevin Westgarth can make it to Scotiabank Saddledome in time, he will make his Calgary Flames debut Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Westgarth, acquired Monday from the Carolina Hurricanes in a trade for Greg Nemisz, is trying but may not make it in time for puck drop on New Year's Eve.

"Right now the main thing is to try to get Kevin Westgarth in town," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “His flight has been delayed. We think he's going to show up early this afternoon, so if he does he's going to be in the lineup."

If he does have Westgarth at his disposal, Hartley said he expects one thing from his new forward.

"Toughness," he said. "That's why we got him."

David Jones is well aware of that toughness Westgarth brings. As a member of Dartmouth College, Jones was no stranger to skating opposite the 6-foot-4, 234-pound Princeton wing.

"I definitely remember him being a pretty big guy on the other team," Jones said. "He moved pretty well and he could finish his checks. Whenever you were out on the ice, you had to get your head up as soon as you got the puck because he was coming."

Because of his aggressiveness, Jones said Westgarth will fit right into the truculent style Calgary is trying to establish.

"I think that's a pretty safe assessment for sure," Jones said. "He's a guy that brings a lot of energy and is a big, strong body that isn't afraid of anyone. We're happy to have him."

Brian McGrattan certainly is. The forward leads the Flames with seven fighting majors this season.

"It's going to be a big help for our team, a big help for me," he said. "We can add a guy like that that has that presence and is physical, it's going to really help.

"If you look at Toronto with [Colton] Orr and [Frazer] McLaren, you don't see too many things happen or them getting pushed around. It's going to be hopefully a great 1-2 punch here."

Here are the projected lineups:

FLAMES

Mike Cammalleri - Mikael Backlund - Paul Byron

Jiri Hudler - Sean Monahan - Lee Stempniak

Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - David Jones

Kevin Westgarth - Joe Colborne - Brian McGrattan

Ladislav Smid - Mark Giordano

Chris Butler - TJ Brodie

Shane O'Brien - Derek Smith

Reto Berra

Karri Ramo

Scratched: TJ Galiardi, Markus Granlund, Christopher Breen

Injured: Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain), Kris Russell (MCL sprain), Dennis Wideman (broken hand), Blair Jones (meniscal tear)

FLYERS

Michael RafflClaude GirouxJakub Voracek

Scott HartnellBrayden SchennWayne Simmonds

Matt ReadSean CouturierVincent Lecavalier

Steve DownieAdam HallZac Rinaldo

Braydon CoburnKimmo Timonen

Mark StreitNicklas Grossmann

Luke SchennAndrej Meszaros

Ray Emery

Steve Mason

Scratched: Jay Rosehill, Hal Gill, Chris VandeVelde

Injured: Marc-Andre Bourdon (concussion), Erik Gustafsson (knee)

Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic