Flames Today: 29.09.13
Notes from the Flames practice on Sunday
STARTING GOALIE? DECIDED
Head coach Bob Hartley has chosen his starting netminder ... but he's keeping that information to himself for now.
"I've picked it but I can't tell you," he smiled. "Because he doesn't know ... I'll keep this a surprise."
BACK IN THE SWING OF THINGS
Defenceman Chris Breen, who has missed a big chunk of training camp practices recovering from shoulder surgery, has taken part in the last three team skates and is beginning to feel more acclimatized to the pace.
"I'm feeling good," the rearguard told CalgaryFlames.com. "I'm getting back up to the speed of things. There are still a couple of things I'm behind on after not skating with the guys for a month - that kind of sets you back a little bit. But a couple more skates and I should be up to speed."
The surgery, which took place last April, was required due to a hit Breen took in January.
"It kind of knocked it," he explained. "I kept playing with it and I fell on it on a game. It got so bad I couldn't play with it anymore so they got me into surgery as quick as they could."
Breen suited up for the Abbotsford Heat last year, registering 3 goals and 7 points in 60 games. He is entering his fourth season with the Flames organization.
CAMMALLERI'S STATUS UNCERTAIN
Last week, Hartley was very optimistic about Mike Cammalleri's being in the lineup on opening night but that positivity has dwindled in recent days. The winger is still sidelined with an injury that has prevented him from skating with the team.
"I'm a very positive guy but right now, I don't know."
Sven Baertschi, who missed some ice time with a minor lower body injury, skated today with the team.
At the end of a two-hour skate, the Flames held line races. Here are the winners of each heat: Lee Stempniak, David Jones, Tim Jackman, Kris Russell and Chris Butler. Honourable mentions go to Mark Giordano and Patrick Sieloff, were in photo finishes with Russell and Butler respectively.
After acquiring centre Joe Colborne from the Toronto Maple Leafs last night, general manager Jay Feaster and Hartley spoke with the young forward, who is extremely happy to join his hometown team.
"The first thing he told was, 'I'm so excited to be in Calgary,'" Hartley said. "That's easy to say but at the same time, when you feel it ... I had the same feeling as when I talked to TJ Galiardi. I thought that I was basically on my voicemail and I was playing a recording.
"It was great."
HARDEST CUTS TO COME
With the last round of cuts to come in the next 24 hours, Hartley and hockey operations are in the process of making their last roster adjustments before Thursday's season opener in Washington, DC.
"It's tough," the bench boss said. "I never feel good when you sit to make those decisions. On day one, the first cuts, they're never fun but most of them, for the most part, they're easy. This is not easy.
"We have so many players that kind of bring the same game. Off the ice, they're true young gentlemen. It's tough. In the next hours, we're going to be telling some young players, hey, it's not for now ... that's the dirty part of being a coach. You're so excited for the first game, then the home opener. But at the same time, those last cuts, they're real tough."
The Flames currently have 28 players at camp (3 goalies, 9 defencemen, 16 forwards).
"I don't think that no one that is here right now has been a disappointment. That's what makes it tough." - Hartley on making the final roster cuts
The Flames kick off the season in Washington, taking on the Capitals at 5:00 PM MST. The game is being broadcast on TSN and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.