Sutter expects to see newbies flourish

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:55 AM ET

Darryl Sutter doesn't expect to be busy between the end of the Olympic trade freeze and Wednesday's deadline.

Of course, the Calgary Flames GM once said he wasn't going to trade Dion Phaneuf too, so things can change in a hurry.

But Sutter is happy with the shakeup he made just before the Olympics in which Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjostrom, Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust were shipped out.

The Flames just need Niklas Hagman, Ian White, Jamal Mayers, Matt Stajan, Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins to have more time to get used to playing together.

"We've made some significant moves," said Sutter. "We put seven guys into our lineup in the last three weeks. We've pretty well done our work.

"You continue to talk to teams, but I look at our forward group and I would put them against anybody.

"I don't have a problem with our players. We're where we want to be. The new guys have played really well.

"I would just like to be higher in the standings."

The seventh new addition Sutter refers to is rookie Swede Mikael Backlund, who was sent to the Abbotsford Heat for the Olympic break and could return afterwards.

The Flames returned to the ice Wednesday following a 10-day Olympic break and are obviously without three of their key players.

And Sutter couldn't help but be excited about the performances of all his Olympians.

Finland goalie Miikka Kiprusoff recorded the shutout in a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic Wednesday night, while Hagman had the winning goal.

Iginla has scored five goals in five games to lead Team Canada in that category.

"Obviously, with the guys at the Olympics, you want them to come back fresh," Sutter said.

"Hopefully, both teams are playing in the gold-medal game (Sunday).

"(Kiprusoff) was a significant player. We know him well enough. We know what to expect from him.

"Hagman scores really big goals and he did again. Jarome is on a deep team and they will be tough to beat."


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