Hamrlik on a short road to return

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

NEW YORK -- Roman Hamrlik has joined his Calgary Flames teammates in the Big Apple -- a sign the defenceman is close to returning.

Hamrlik, who suffered a knee injury Dec. 7, took part in yesterday's practice but was coy about if he expects to be in the lineup tonight against the Rangers (5 p.m.).

"We'll see. It feels much better," he said while riding a stationary bike.

During this road swing, the Flames also play against the New York Islanders Thursday and in Minnesota Saturday.

"I'm getting there," said Hamrlik, who netted four goals and 11 assists in 30 games before the injury. "It's getting better every day. It'll be a decision (today) or the next couple of days but I'm coming close to 100 percent."

DION HITS DOUBLE DIGITS: By scoring his 10th goal of the season in Vancouver Saturday, Dion Phaneuf became the first rookie Flames defenceman since Gary Suter to hit double digits.

Suter tallied 18 goals in 1985-86, a season that ended days after Phaneuf celebrated his first birthday.

"I don't concentrate on that kinda stuff but I do concentrate on playing my game," Phaneuf said. "You can't have individual success without the help of your teammates."

Nine of Phaneuf's 10 goals have come on the powerplay, an element the Flames have sorely lacked for years.


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