SUN Hockey Pool

Picture perfect start

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

Yesterday was a defining moment for Warren Peters and Curtis McElhinney.

It was team picture day, and both earned the right to pose with their fellow Calgary Flames and office staff after making the final cut.

Dustin Boyd was sent to the American Hockey League Quad City Flames, leaving the big-league roster at its 23-player maximum, plus injured goaltender Brent Krahn, who is expected to be reassigned as soon as he's healthy enough to participate.

"It's a great experience. It's something that is a notch in your belt a little bit," said Peters of the photo op, which makes his childhood dream of making the NHL a reality.

"That goes without saying. It's been something all of us were trying to accomplish starting out at a young age -- especially myself, it's five years pro and it's taken this long to even be sitting here for today."

Injuries to Owen Nolan, Matthew Lombardi and David Moss made it desirable for the team to keep Peters around to start the year despite the 25-year-old being one of just two forwards on a two-way contract.

But head coach Mike Keenan said Peters earned the opportunity.

"Any time that you can have a free agent make a jump and earn a spot, it speaks volumes for him and his work," said Keenan of the Eyebrow, Sask., product who was inked as an undrafted free agent in 2005.

"It's taken him a little longer than maybe a youngster ... but he earned that spot. It wasn't given to him, that's for sure."

Peters knows it doesn't mean he'll be around all year. He has to make it impossible for the team to send him to the minors to save a few bucks under the salary cap.

"I've got to continue to work. It's just begun," said Peters. "I hope that this is the roster, it'd be nice, but I also have to earn it."

McElhinney, now Miikka Kiprusoff's backup, was also thrilled to be in the photo, but hopes to have another chance to say cheese later in the season.

"I know the guys get those framed pictures at the end of the year, or the following year, so hopefully if they have another picture at some point in the year, I'll still be in it," he said.

SICK BAY

Mike Keenan said he's unsure whether or not Owen Nolan (groin) will be able to play in the opener tomorrow against Philadelphia, but is hopeful Matthew Lombardi (wrist) will suit up.

Nolan was absent from practice yesterday. Lombardi took his spot on the right wing.

David Moss (arm) was placed on the injured list and won't be eligible to return until after Saturday's game at the earliest. He was hurt in the team's final pre-season game, a 2-1 loss to the Sharks in San Jose.

LINE COMBINATIONS

The line combinations yesterday were Alex Tanguay-Craig Conroy-Jarome Iginla; Kristian Huselius-Daymond Langkow-Matthew Lombardi; Marcus Nilson-Stephane Yelle-Mark Smith; Wayne Primeau-Warren Peters-Eric Godard.


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