Flames, Habs alumni game confirmed

RANDY SPORTAK and SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

The Flames-Canadiens alumni game to be held during the Heritage Classic weekend will be officially announced on Friday.

Several players from Calgary’s 1989 Stanley Cup championship team are expected to play, including goalie Mike Vernon, defencemen Ric Nattress, Jamie Macoun and Dana Murzyn and forwards Joe Nieuwendyk, Gary Roberts, Theoren Fleury, Lanny McDonald, Joel Otto, Jim Peplinski and Colin Patterson.

The alumni game is slated to be held Feb. 19 at McMahon Stadium.

The present-day Flames and Canadiens are slated to square off outdoors Feb. 20th.

The Heritage Classic weekend has several entertaining events scheduled. The Flames AHL affiliate Abbotsford Heat will play host to Edmonton’s farm team, the Oklahoma City Barons on the Friday night at the Saddledome, while the WHL Calgary Hitmen will meet the Regina Pats at McMahon Stadium Feb. 21.

Staios itching to play

Flames defenceman Steve Staios is raring to go. All he wants is the green light.

“I feel like I’m as close as I can be,” said the injured rearguard after Thursday’s practice. “I’m just waiting for the go-ahead. I started taking a little more contact in practice today to see how it reacts.”

The 37-year-old suffered a shoulder/rib injury Dec. 5 at Chicago and has been on the sidelines ever since.

He said he didn’t know if he’d see action this weekend or if he’d have to wait another week.

“I’m preparing for every day,” said Staios, who two points in 15 games this season. “I’m not entirely sure, but I want to stay prepared in case I can get in sooner rather than later.”

Staios, who eats up about 16 minutes a night when he’s in the lineup, said it’s been hard to be a spectator for the past six weeks.

“It’s definitely frustrating, but injuries are part of the game and you have to deal with them the right way,” he said. “But I feel when I get the call, I can help the team out. I’ve focused on that and it helps you get through the tough days. You just have to keep your confidence and your fitness up and stay ready to go.”

Backlund battling a Charley horse

With Curtis Glencross avoiding a suspension for his boarding major against the Minnesota Wild, the Flames may not be forced to make any lineup changes against the Dallas Stars.

Provided Mikael Backlund is fine from the Charley horse suffered in Wednesday’s loss.

The rookie centre missed Thursday’s practice after being drilled by a shot delivered by teammate Anton Babchuk in the Wild game.

Backlund, who’s been in the middle on the fourth line, is expected to be OK, but if he can’t play, expect Craig Conroy to dress for the first time since late November.


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