Injury rocks Robyn

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

Robyn won't be rockin' the opposition for the first month of the NHL season.

A knee injury suffered late in Wednesday's 5-0 pre-season victory over the Edmonton Oilers will leave Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr on the shelf for roughly four weeks.

Though skaters facing the Flames won't have to worry about Regehr's thunderous body checks in the immediate future, the turn of events will mean a change in plans for GM/head coach Darryl Sutter, who said the injury came on the most innocuous of plays.

"It was the faceoff in the corner and the puck came out to the blueline," Sutter said. "He wasn't even really hit, it must be just where his foot was. We looked at it and there was nothing even there.

"It's the same injury Si (Chris Simon) had (during the playoffs) and he was out three weeks and Connie (Craig Conroy) was out six weeks but normally, it's four weeks."

The Flames, with nine defencemen remaining in camp, finish the pre-season tonight in Vancouver. The regular season begins Oct. 5.

The club still has eight healthy defencemen in camp but Sutter said he plans to only have six of them, along with Regehr, on the roster when the puck drops on the regular campaign.

Jordan Leopold, Roman Hamrlik, Rhett Warrener, Andrew Ference, Steve Montador and rookie Dion Phaneuf should be the six that stick.

Mark Giordano and Richie Regehr remain with the team but will likely be sent to AHL Omaha in the coming days.

Sutter, however, doesn't have any concerns about the team being shorthanded, noting the team's first four games -- against Minnesota, Columbus, Detroit and Colorado -- are all within an hour by plane from Omaha, Neb.

"I told our guys today we played 26 games two years ago with five the whole time," Sutter said, talking about the playoff run of 2004. "Everyone thinks we played with eight or nine but we played with five. One guy played four minutes, one guy played part of six games and one guy had a mysterious headache for four months.

"Those five guys did quite a job for us. Now we have six."

Still, the loss will have quite an impact. Regehr averaged almost 21 minutes per game during his breakout 2003-04 season.

Granted, Hamrlik is capable of being a 25-minute player but it still means more ice time for the younger defencemen.

"The good thing is we're pretty deep in the D corp," Leopold said. "In the playoffs, we found a way to get things done and we'll find a way again.

"We'll be changing pairings but we'll find a way to do it."

Leopold has been mainly paired with Regehr and now will have to work his way around a new partner.

"We were probably going to play together again but, now that he's hurt, things will change," Leopold said.

"I'll probably end up finding myself on the left side with somebody else instead of the right but whatever comes our way, we just have to weather the storm."


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