The Flames arrived back in Calgary late last night after picking up their fifth pre-season victory over the NY Islanders in the neautral site of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
The entire team took to the ice minus a few players with bumps and bruises. On the ice this afternoon were nine defencemen, 15 forwards and three goalies.
Wearing red was Mikael Backlund
, Jarome Iginla
and Alex Tanguay
, in blue was Niklas Hagman, David Moss
and Ales Kotalik. In the black jerseys were Jon Rheault, Raitis Ivanans and Brett Sutter. Yellow uniforms had Curtis Glencross
with Stefan Meyer
and Tim Jackman
while the green jerseys had Craig Conroy with Cam Cunning and John Armstrong.Olli Jokinen
and Rene Bourque missed practice today for general maintenance related to recent training and competition. Both are listed as day-to-day. Other injury updates are as follows:
Daymond Langkow (C)
– Neck – IndefiniteMatt Stajan (C)
– Shoulder separation – IndefiniteRyan Stone (C)
– Knee - Indefinite
In addition to the injured players, the Flames did make another cut to their roster. Calgary Flames Executive Vice-President and General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today that Greg Nemisz has been assigned to the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League.
The Flames now have 33 players remaining at training camp: three goalies, 10 defensemen and 20 forwards.
"We have to get down closer to our team here," said Brent Sutter. "We only have two exhibition games left and I think it's slowly sorted itself out but let's see what happens over the next two games. You have to expect there will be more veterans playing now that have earned the right to play in these next two games."
After practice the Flames were off to the airport for their half hour flight to Edmonton where they will face the Oilers in the first of three consecutive battles of Alberta beginning Friday night. The Oilers are the only other Canadian team who are undefeated in the pre-season going 4-0.
Although it is just pre-season, it is still the battle of Alberta so it is bound to be an exciting one as usual. Head coach Brent Sutter says that the pre-season is there for a reason. It's there to get the kinks out.
"I think exhibition gets down-played a lot. Exhibition is important for a lot of different reasons," Sutter explained. "working on your game, forming chemistry inside your locker room and on your team and creating your habits now.
"The game is different now. You have to be running on all cylinders on game one of the regular season and that is why we cranked up the intensity at training camp."BRINGING ANOTHER ELEMENTStefan Meyer
is a player who has bounced around a fair bit over the last few years. He began his junior career in his home town of Medicine Hat, Alberta playing for the Tigers for five seasons. Four of the five years Meyer was coached by Brent Sutter so he is a familiar face around here to say the least.
"I've known him for a long time coaching him in junior for four years, well five including against him and have seen him play ever since he's been in pee-wee hockey so I know what he's like as a player." said Brent Sutter.
Meyer was drafted in the second round (55th overall) of the 2003 NHL entry draft. He signed a three year entry contract with the Panthers in July of 2005. He managed to stay up with Florida and almost broke the roster coming out of camp in 2007 but was sent back to develop in Rochester. Then in June of 2009, he was acquired by the Phoenix Coyotes and played the 2009-10 season with the San Antonio Rampage.
He became an unrestricted free agent this past summer which is when the Calgary Flames jumped at the opportunity to sign Meyer to a two-year contract. He has come to camp and has taken on a centre role in which he says he is very comfortable doing. He has shown his skill and so far proven the value he can bring to the Flames roster.
"My main focus has been one day at a time and do the little things right," said Meyer. "Just show them that I am an accountable person on and off the ice. They are givin gme good input of things I am doing well and things I'm not doing well. It's great when you know what you have to do to fit in here and what you need to work on."
Sutter says he likes what he has seen from Meyer in the two pre-season games and that he's excited to continue to see his development.
"In the two games he's played, he's been a pretty good player for us," said Sutter. "One thing is that he is a great skater and he has tenacity and has some decent skills that go with that and he does everything at a high speed. I think in those two games, certainly last night, he may have been our best player."
He brings another element, we want to be an up-tempo speed type game that's quick and responsible. We'll see how things unfold over the next couple of games. He's a guy that has fallen into the mix here and that's exciting for him and also great for the team and the organization that we can bring a player like that in that has proven and shown what he can do."
As for being in a new dressing room with all brand new teammates, Meyer said he is learning so much and really enjoying his time here in Calgary.
"I've got my mouth shut and my eyes and ears open," smiled Meyer. "I've been taught from a lot of guys I've played with that that's the way to go into camp. I have to try to win the respect of the older guys and that's what I'm trying to do."
Author: Kristi Hennessy