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Cammalleri return pushed back by Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames forward Mike Cammalleri will wait an extra 48 hours to make his return from a concussion.

Originally scheduled to be in the lineup Thursday against the San Jose Sharks after missing eight straight with the injury, Cammalleri and the team have decided to wait an extra few days to get his legs back under him.

"[I] talked to coach [Bob Hartley] about it," Cammalleri said. "I really only had one practice in the last few weeks, real practice. [I] just came back from having been away for a couple days. It was maybe more a fact of we want guys coming back in the lineup ready to help the team and get their legs under them a little bit. I'm OK with that."

Cammalleri sustained the concussion in Calgary's 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 11 and has skated with the team just a handful of times since.

He's now expected back Saturday against the Minnesota Wild.

"Let's remember that he was out for almost three weeks," Hartley said. "The last couple of days he was away from the team attending personal things. I had a good talk with [Cammalleri] and we're all on the same page. We're doing what's best, once again, for the player because what's best for the player is what's best for the team."

Without the 31-year-old, Calgary has won three straight to kick off a five-game stint at Scotiabank Saddledome that will close the home portion of the Flames' pre-Olympic schedule. Their record, however, had no bearing on the decision to hold out Cammalleri.

"We will never put a player at risk," Hartley said. "We're playing well but we could be 0-3 and my mindset would be exactly the same."

Though he took drills on a line with Sean Monahan and TJ Galiardi at the morning skate, the decision to scratch Cammalleri came before practice, forcing Hartley to reconsider his lineup.

"We were scheduled to talk right before practice and I shared a few thoughts with him and he did the same and that's where we made the decision," he said. "We didn't even wait for after the skate. We thought it was the best and now I need to re-think our lineup a little bit."

Only three Sharks players skated Thursday, one day after the team put 59 shots on goal but lost 3-0 to the Edmonton Oilers, injured forwards Logan Couture and Adam Burish, and goaltender Antti Niemi.

Here are the projected lineups for the Sharks and Flames:


Jiri Hudler - Mikael Backlund - Lee Stempniak

TJ Galiardi - Sean Monahan - Joe Colborne

Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - David Jones

Kevin Westgarth - Ben Street - Brian McGrattan

TJ Brodie - Mark Giordano

Kris Russell - Chris Butler

Ladislav Smid - Dennis Wideman

Reto Berra

Karri Ramo

Scratched: Christopher Breen, Paul Byron

Injured: Mike Cammalleri (concussion), Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain)


Joe Pavelski - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns

Tommy Wingels - Patrick Marleau - Marty Havlat

Bracken Kearns - Andrew Desjardins - Matt Nieto

Eriah Hayes - Mike Brown - Tyler Kennedy

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Jason Demers

Brad Stuart - Justin Braun

Scott Hannan - Dan Boyle

Alex Stalock

Antti Niemi

Scratched: John McCarthy, Matt Irwin, James Sheppard

Injured: Logan Couture (hand), Tomas Hertl (knee), Raffi Torres (knee), Adam Burish (back)

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