SUN Hockey Pool

Warrener wounded

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Calgary's already shorthanded defence corps has another potential problem.

Due to an undisclosed injury, rugged rearguard Rhett Warrener didn't practise yesterday when the team arrived in St. Paul, leaving the team with just five healthy defencemen.

However, GM/head coach Darryl Sutter said he expects Warrener to play in tonight's season opener.

"I'm hoping he's going to play. I'm assuming he'll play," Sutter said.

"And that's all I'll tell you."

Should Warrener not be able to go, it could put the Flames in a bind.

With only six defencemen on the roster and Robyn Regehr on the shelf for a few weeks due to a knee injury, the club would have to quickly bring in a defenceman today from AHL Omaha.

Sutter insisted he won't ice a roster with only five defencemen.

FEELIN' FINE: It seems Sutter is a medical miracle.

An Associated Press report last week -- which was published in both Twin Cities papers -- said he'd had an emergency appendectomy. True, he did have such an operation, but it was two years ago, just prior to the 2003-04 season.

"Really? Good. Perfect," Sutter said upon being told of the news.

Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire even asked the local media if they'd heard whether he'd be coaching in tonight's season opener.

Sutter was asked if his appendix grew back.

"Maybe, I've got two," he quipped.

IGGY RESTED: Jarome Iginla would rather have not lost a season due to the lockout.

However, the Flames captain will admit the extended layoff did his body and soul a world of good.

"It helped, without question. My body feels the best it has felt as long as I can remember," Iginla said.

"It's especially with the knees and the shoulders because you never get a full time to rest.

"You don't take the full summer off, you end up doing high-impact drills to get ready for the next season."

As for the mind?

"It was a good break for the mind to not have that on it. You can be totally, 100 percent ready for it again," he said.

"Physically and mentally, it was a good recovery."


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