Even though it is only the middle of November, one member of the Calgary Flames feels like it's December 24. Head coach Brent Sutter confirmed November 10 that Mikael Backlund will play his first game of the season November 11 in Chicago against the Blackhawks.
The pivot has been sidelined since early October with a broken finger. The Flames faltered in the faceoff circle on Tuesday night against Minnesota, winning only 35 percent of their draws. Backlund has been practicing faceoffs recently and feels confident that he will be able to help his team improve their win percentage. Game time November 11 is 6:30 pm.
The Calgary Flames also recalled forward Paul Byron from the Abbotsford Heat (AHL) to take the place of forward Brendan Morrison, who's been placed on the injured reserve list because of inadequate rehabilitation from ACL surgery on his knee.
Byron, a native of Ottawa, has three goals and one assist along with 26 penalty minutes in nine games with the Abbotsford Heat this season. Last season he played eight NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres netting his first career goal and added one assist and two penalty minutes.