To get the call here, it's been a dream and I'm going to enjoy every part of it. I think I’m a little bit nervous but I'm just going to try to enjoy every moment. - Emile Poirier
NEW YORK CITY, NY -- The newest one doesn’t know. Yet.
Making the three-plus hour trek from Glens Falls to New York City alongside fellow call-up Michael Ferland just 24 hours ago, Emile Poirier doesn’t know when his National Hockey League debut will take place.
One of the most historic sporting venues in Madison Square Garden might be the backdrop for Poirier’s first skate.
Or, it might not be, according to Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley.
"Our final decision has not been made yet,” Hartley said in advance of Tuesday's game against the New York Rangers. “Everyone will be part of the lineup and they're all game-time decisions.
"We just want to sit as a coaching staff and revise a few things because obviously the Rangers are probably one of the most well-balanced hockey clubs in the league. You look at their blueline, you look at their four lines. This morning we talked and we wanted to see a few guys in the morning skate. This afternoon we will make the final decisions."
That unknown couldn’t wipe the smile from the face of the 20-year-old first-year pro.
And he’s not losing sleep over it, either.
"It's been great,” the 6-foot-1, 195-pound winger said. “To get the call here, it's been a dream and I'm going to enjoy every part of it. I think I’m a little bit nervous but I'm just going to try to enjoy every moment.
"I think I slept pretty well. We were on the road so I was pretty tired so I slept pretty well."
Nerves of steel, it seems.
“I kept asking him 'are you nervous, are you nervous yet',” Ferland said. “He kept saying he was okay and I asked again when we were out [on the ice] how he was feeling and he said he was starting to get nervous and it was starting to kick in. I told him to just enjoy it. It's exciting. I remember when I first came up I couldn't sleep."
Poirier might be a little more nervous then he’s letting on.
He should be.
“Will he be nervous? For sure,” Hartley said. “I don't know too many players who were not nervous in their first NHL game. That's great, that's the way you should be basically for every game. It's just a matter of making sure that we gauge everything and it's going to come down to trying to make the best possible decision."
Poirier is one of three Flames selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft, joining current Calgary centre Sean Monahan and future Flames forward Morgan Klimchuk.
He’s recorded 14 goals and 30 points in 42 skates with Adirondack this season.
He represented his Flames at the AHL All-Star Game in January, the youngest skater to do so.
And, in coming off a road trip to Oklahoma City, will mark another milestone.
Poirier just doesn’t know when.
"It's a long road trip,” Hartley said. “We don't know how long those to young players will be with us but at the same time you get your first call-up you're always excited. When I sat with him this morning there was a big smile on his face.
“This time of year every decision is based on what's best for the Calgary Flames organization."