SUN Hockey Pool

Bourque returns to practice

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Rene Bourque was back on the ice with his Flames teammates for Wednesday’s morning skate.

When the left winger is back in action, though, remains to be seen.

“He’s still day to day, so we’ll see,” said head coach Brent Sutter.

The squad has been tight-lipped about what took Bourque out of the Nov. 19 loss to Chicago and forced him to miss three games so far. They’ve haven’t even disclosed whether it’s an “upper body” or “lower body” problem.

Bourque, who is second on the team in both goals (seven) and points (21), wouldn’t talk to the media after skating the full session.

He was placed on the injured reserve list last Friday, which means he couldn’t play until Friday’s game in Detroit at the earliest.

Who let the Dogs in

Three former Flames suited up for the Phoenix Coyotes in Wednesday’s game.

Seven former Coyotes — Fredrik Sjostrom, Olli Jokinen, Jamie Lundmark, Brandon Prust, Brian McGrattan, Nigel Dawes and Daymond Langkow — are on the Flames roster.

So there was plenty of the motivation from facing a former team inside the Calgary room.

“I’ve only played against them once before, and we won that game, so that was good,” said Sjostrom, who was drafted by the Coyotes and spent nearly five seasons with the organization.

“Their lineup has changed quite a bit since I played there. It’s nice to win against your old team, but I don’t hold any special grudge or anything like that. It’s just good to rub it in.”

Sjostrom had a second reason to be excited Wednesday night. He was a healthy scratch in the previous outing in Anaheim.

“You want to play every game, but that’s the way it is. It’s tough competition here. I’ve got to pick up my game a little bit and prove I should be in the lineup,” he said. “I trailed off the last few games, so I have to correct it and step up a notch.”

Waiting to set sale

Another day, another day wondering what the future holds for the Phoenix Coyotes.

The team remains under the NHL’s control, and ownership, but reports came out a couple of days ago a group of Phoenix businessmen, along with Steve Stotland of Montreal — who was part of a group that looked into purchasing the Montreal Canadiens years ago — is talking to the league.

The players are taking a wait-and-see approach with any news.

“You kind of get numb to it to a certain degree,” said captain Shane Doan. “It changes so much from week to week, who’s involved and who isn’t and what’s involved. I follow it and want to know, but do it with controlled enthusiasm.”

A handful of groups have apparently been in touch with the league, but nothing has happened, so you can understand why the players are not focused on it.

“We just hope the team stays in Phoenix,” said defenceman Ed Jovanovski. “It’s tough uprooting your family to another city, but that seems far-fetched because the league is trying to find buyers and one of the stipulations is to keep the team in Phoenix and make it work there.

“You hear so much, you don’t know what’s true. When something’s done, officially, then we’ll worry about it.”


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