It took the Flames' captain sitting out three games last week before the organization finally gave fans the 4-1-1 on what was keeping Mark Giordano out of the lineup; the defenceman will miss six to eight weeks with a broken ankle presumably suffered in Monday's win over the LA Kings. Gio took a spin in warmup in Glendale on Tuesday, but ultimately decided he couldn't play. He was placed on injured reserve and has been out since.
Lee Stempniak also missed Saturday's 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals, and it has now been revealed that Stempniak, who is tied with Giordano for third on the team in scoring with four goals and nine points in 11 games, has a broken foot. He is listed as week-to-week.
Less significant for the Flames is the news that Chris Breen will miss some time with an abdominal strain, and is listed as day-to-day. Derek Smith will take his place on the Flames' blueline in tomorrow's contest against the Maple Leafs.
Giordano and Stempniak's respective absences will deal the biggest blow to the Flames' roster, which is especially shallow at the top end--the top four on defence and the top six at forward. But this also means that Flames fans could see some prospects for the first time this season as Feaster and Hartley try different remedies to plug the holes left by Gio and Stempniak up front as other players are forced to move up to fill their spots. Heat defenceman Chad Billins, who has four goals and four points in nine games, and forward Ben Hanowski, who is tied for the team lead with four goals and second in scoring with six points in nine games, are some players who could have a chance to make an impression upon Flames management soon, if not at some point this season.