CALGARY, AB -- Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund will be sidelined for up to six weeks after suffering a broken finger in practice on Sunday.
"It's unfortunate that it happened," head coach Brent Sutter said after Tuesday's practice in Banff. "It happened in practice and there's nothing you can do about it."
The Swede underwent surgery on Tuesday afternoon and Sutter confirmed it went smoothly.
Backlund's injury has forced the coaching staff to shuffle around lines. The young pivot was slated to start the season centering Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay on the top line. David Moss was shifted over from the wing on Tuesday to play in Backlund's place and will be playing with the two veterans on Saturday night when the Flames open the regular season against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
In terms of the other center ice men, their roles look to remain the same. Olli Jokinen will play between Curtis Glencross and Stempniak, youngster Roman Horak will open the season centering Niklas Hagman and Rene Bourque while Matt Stajan has Tom Kostopoulos and Tim Jackman beside him.
Brendan Morrison has been cleared for contact but was not sure if he would be playing on Saturday night. He said he was going to prepare as if he was going to in the lineup but that decision would likely be made the night before the game. On Tuesday, he centered Raitis Ivanans and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond.
Sutter made sure to note that Horak is not in the role the team has placed him in because of lack of numbers. He said the rookie would have been playing on the third line regardless of injuries thanks to his solid preseason and training camp performance.
"He's a very good hockey player. We're excited we have a young player like that in our lineup that can be a real intelligent, smart player that can play in all three zones on the ice."
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