New arrival means sleepless nights for Stralman

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:38 PM ET

Stuck in a battle for one of the last spots available on the Calgary Flames blueline, Swede Anton Stralman isn't getting a great deal of sleep.

But it has nothing to do with his three-way plight along with Adam Pardy and Staffan Kronwall, two of whom are expected to be the sixth and seventh defencemen this season, with the other bolstering the farm team's blueline.

His son, Lowee, was born a week ago yesterday.

"He's pretty calm so far, which is nice," Stralman said.

"It's nice to be able to think about other things."

With a two-way deal but enough NHL games under his belt to have to clear waivers to go down, Stralman might not be a guy the Flames want to risk losing after impressing head coach Brent Sutter with his puck skills and smarts.

Last night's pre-season tilt against the Vancouver Canucks at the Saddledome was his last audition.

"Like every other game, you've got to be prepared and be focused on what you've got to do out there," Stralman said. "Hopefully, it works out good."

Who's on the bubble?

Sitting the trio of Jamie Lundmark, Colin Stuart and Jason Jaffray in favour of a veteran lineup that could be a preview of opening day, coach Brent Sutter said the time for evaluation -- at least for spots -- is over.

That doesn't necessarily count out Lundmark, Jaffray or Stuart -- the latter owns a one-way deal and could be a part-timer this season -- but it's a pretty good indication.

"It's really the first game through the process we've been able to put a lot of our veterans in the lineup," Sutter said. "There were people we really wanted to have a look at, our top-end prospects."

Gone are Kyle Greentree, Mikael Backlund, Brett Sutter and Matt Pelech.

Still to be decided is where forwards like Dustin Boyd, David Moss, and Nigel Dawes will be slotted.

"It's holes where they fit in and what roles they're going to be able to play on the team," said Sutter, adding development is still important.

"That's not gonna happen by sitting on the bench, either."

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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