2013 Training Camp Update: Day 3
It is will deepest sympathies the Calgary Flames organization advises that Jiri Hudler Sr., the father of forward Jiri Hudler, passed away Monday, January 14th, 2013 in Olomouc, Czech Republic at the age of 50.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jiri and his family, and as he grieves his loss our Flames family will be here to support him," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said in a release.
Alex Tanguay might not be used to being the center of attention.
Three days into camp the converted winger remains at center, playing between Curtis Glencross and Lee Stempniak at camp Tuesday.
The adjustment has been a tricky one for Tanguay, who hasn’t played down the middle since his junior days with the Halifax Mooseheads.
“I’ve played the game a long time and it’s been a while since I played center,” he said. “I used to play it in juniors, I know how to play it, but it’s going to take a little bit of time.”
There’s a lot more to the move than just taking draws, Tanguay admitted.
“It’s trying to get used to a new pace and tying to get used to a new pace and trying to get used to a new position,” he said. “I don’t think I did too good out there yesterday, I was a little bit out of place. I feel fine physically but I feel like I’m still taking too much time to think.”
Glencross has no plans to volunteer himself for a move down the middle should Tanguay feel more comfortable on the wing.
“No, not really,” he joked. “I like my wing slot.”
Special Teams Action
Tuesday’s action got a little offensive, with a portion of the on-ice activities dedicated to the power play.
It was a welcomed change of pace, according to Glencross.
“It was a little lighter day today,” he said. “Get out there and work some power play stuff, go over the options, see what their plans are and that kind of thing. It was nice to just not go out there and grind it out. It’s a good day to have an easier day.”
That doesn’t mean the power winger didn’t leave the ice a little sore. A mainstay in front of the net with the man advantage, Glencross was a little tender after inadvertently blocking three shots from defenseman Dennis Wideman.
“Widey hit me three times today,” Glencross said. “We’re going to have to have a little talk yet today.”
Tanguay found himself working the point with Wideman on Calgary’s power play unit, a position familiar to the newly converted center.
“I played there last year,” he said. “The power play is the part of the game that’s going to be huge at the start of the season. There’s always a bunch of penalties for some reason. The referees were just handed their rulebook and they seem to apply it a little bit better the start of the year. Certainly for us, special units are going to be huge.”
For the third consecutive day, captain Jarome Iginla didn’t join his teammates for the on-ice sessions, instead skating by himself prior to their arrival for the second consecutive day.
But he’s close to joining the group according to head coach Bob Hartley.
“He’s doing so well that he’s begging me to let him on the ice,” he said. “I have a deal with the captain that tomorrow morning he’s going to come in, he’s going to warm up.
“He’s the best judge because that’s how it works. The medical staff is very comfortable with Jarome being on the ice. Tomorrow morning he’s going to come in, we’re going to test him in the gym and if everything feels good he’s going to be on the ice.”
Tuesday’s session brought a new set of lines from head coach Bob Hartley, who shook up each unit except the trio of Mike Cammalleri, Mikael Backlund and Sven Baertschi.
Liking what he saw out of the group, dubbed the ‘BBC Line’, Hartley opted instead to take a longer look at the set.
“Tomorrow we might see other things but I like the chemistry,” Hartley said. “Cammy is really having fun with the two kids. It’s a good leadership role for Cammy but if there’s one thing about me, I’m not scared to change my lines.”
Baertschi hasn’t minded starting camp playing with two of the team’s more offensively gifted forwards.
“I’m excited about playing with Backs and Cammy,” Baertschi said. “They’re both really offensive skilled guys. We make a lot of plays out there and we support each other a lot. I think it could be good. I like it with them because Cammy has a great shot and Backs goes hard to the net. There’s a lot of open space and we find each other well. I think we think the same way, think the same hockey, so I think it helps a lot.”
Hartley stopped short of saying the line would remain intact for Sunday’s home opener against the San Jose Sharks considering the club is currently without Iginla and Hudler in the short term.
Still, the former Portland Winterhawks standout hopes to see the group given an opportunity.
“They haven’t talked about that but I’m guessing,” he said. “It’s good when you get put on a line with those two guys but I mean, we still have three guys that aren’t even in our lineup yet. Things might change, but for me I want to make sure I make their decision as hard as possible.”