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The winger will not play tonight when the Flames host the Canucks

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson /

Matthew Tkachuk will have to wait to make his 2017 pre-season debut.

Head coach Glen Gulutzan has confirmed the winger will miss tonight's game against the Vancouver Canucks due to a minor hip issue.

"We've got a lot of (sore) hips and groins ... I thought for sure he would be skating today. But our guys want to make sure we're cautious and so do we," Gulutzan explained after practice.

"We would like him to play three or four (exhibition) games here but it's not going to be today. They felt it was better to take one more day. He's going to take another day or two and see where he is.

"We're not going to rush any of these guys at this point, when we have time to make sure they're 100 percent."

Tkachuk's regular linemates, Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik, will play this evening and will have summer acquisition Marek Hrivik slot in on the left wing.

Hrivik, who signed a one-year, two-way deal on Jul. 1, views being assigned with Backlund and Frolik as a prime opportunity to showcase his skills in his bid to land a regular roster spot in Calgary.

"I'm playing with two really offensive guys so I'm just trying to (help) them produce," he said. "I'm just trying to create space for them, maybe do the heavy lifting, get the puck to them. I think that's going to be my job tonight."

Hrivik played in Edmonton on Monday, putting three shots on net in the Flames' 5-2 loss to the Oilers.

Prior to signing with the Flames, he spent several years in the New York Rangers organization, playing 21 NHL games over the past two seasons. 

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