All he wants for Christmas is two front teeth

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

The smile on Eric Nystrom's face said it all about his first scrimmage with the Calgary Flames.

Not because it was ear to ear but because it was interrupted with two newly shattered teeth in the middle, courtesy of Roman Hamrlik's stick.

"I was in a foot race down the wall with Hamrilk and I got tripped up," recounted the 22-year-old rookie with a hint of excitement. "My face was down by ice level and he swung for the puck and the shaft got me right in the teeth and knocked 'em right out."

Instinctively, the youngster got right back on his feet without fussing and finished a shift that saw his line -- including Byron Ritchie and Craig MacDonald -- come close to scoring several times.

"It's a good thing my mom's not here this time -- she'd freak out a bit," said Nystrom, the son of Islanders standout Bob who lost his original chiclets at the under-18 world championships.

"Oh well, they were fake and needed to be fixed anyway. It builds character. Hockey players look good without front teeth so I'm pretty excited. The funny thing is I actually molded a mouthpiece for the game tomorrow night but didn't wear it and I was joking before the game, 'I hope I don't lose my teeth tonight.' Sure enough I did."


Videos

Photos