SUN Hockey Pool

Flames head to AHL, world championships

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:13 PM ET

CALGARY — Mikael Backlund and Brett Sutter have headed out for playoff action.

The Flames prospects were officially reassigned to the AHL Abbotsford Heat Tuesday in anticipation of the opening round series against the Rochester Americans.

Backlund, the 2007 first-round draft choice, took a big step forward in his first pro season with one goal and nine assists in 23 NHL games for the Flames.

In a bit of an audition for next season, he skated mainly on a line with captain Jarome Iginla and Rene Bourque in the final regular-season games.

Sutter didn’t register a point in 10 NHL games this season.

The pair of forwards will give a boost to the Heat, which is without top-scorer Jason Jaffray to start the playoffs Thursday, as well as Kris Chucko and Carsen Germyn.

The Heat did receive good news with the return of 2005 first-rounder Matt Pelech last weekend, after missing a chunk of the season with blood clot issues.

The Heat play a pair of games in New York before returning home for two, possibly three games, in the best-of-seven series.

The Flames will gather today for the last of their end-of-season medicals and meetings.

Forwards Eric Nystrom and David Moss will reportedly depart to play for the United States at the world championships May 7-23 in Germany.

The Flames have other candidates to play: Canadians Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano, Ian White, Rene Bourque and Matt Stajan, as well as Niklas Hagman (Finland) and Ales Kotalik (Czech Republic).


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