CALGARY, Alberta – Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka will both make their debut with the Calgary Flames on Saturday in this season's first installment of the "Battle Of Alberta."
Hudler left training camp and missed the opening three games of the season for Calgary after tending to the passing of his father, Jiri Hudler Sr., in the Czech Republic.
Cervenka missed training camp with issues relating to a blood clot. After seeing a hematology expert at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, the Czech forward has been cleared to play and is ready to be inserted in the lineup against the Edmonton Oilers for his first career NHL game.
"He’s confident and good for him," Hudler said of his teammate and countryman. "He’s got his big day. We took a picture having breakfast this morning, his first game-day breakfast. It’s nice."
Though he's no stranger to NHL action, the game will hold special significance for Hudler too. Saturday's match will mark the 29-year-old’s first in a Flames uniform after signing a four-year, $16-million contract in July.
"Right now it’s a regular game day like always, but tonight’s going to be special for sure," he said. "As soon as I walk in the building tonight, that’s going to elevate another level."
Here are the possible line combinations for the Flames:
Curtis Glencross – Alex Tanguay – Jarome Iginla
Lee Stempniak – Mikael Backlund – Michael Cammalleri
Jiri Hudler – Matt Stajan – Roman Cervenka
Sven Baertschi – Blair Jones – Blake Comeau
Jay Bouwmeester – Mark Giordano
Dennis Wideman – TJ Brodie
Cory Sarich – Derek Smith
Injured: Anton Babchuk
Scratched: Steve Begin, Chris Butler