Flames trim roster, waive Warrener

Veteran defenceman Rhett Warrener was one of three Calgary Flames general manager Darryl Sutter placed on waivers Monday as he pared the roster for Thursday's season opener.

Defenceman Eriksson, forward Lundmark also placed on waivers

Season No. 13 in the NHL hasn't been a lucky one so far for defenceman Rhett Warrener.

Warrener, 32, was one of three Calgary Flames general manager Darryl Sutter placed on waivers Monday.

Warrener, along with fellow blue-liner Anders Eriksson and centre Jamie Lundmark could be sent to the NHL team's American Hockey League affiliate in Quad City in Illinois.

Warrener ($2.5 million US) and Eriksson ($1.5 million) would receive their full salary if they play in the minors, but the NHL team wouldn't take a hit against the $56.7 million salary cap.

"It's a tough pill to swallow for a player when he's a veteran," Sutter said of Warrener and Eriksson, "but, at the same time, we expect them to show great leadership.

"Maybe at some point that evolves into them playing in the NHL again."

According to the Calgary Sun website, Sutter has been trying to trade Warrener and Eriksson.

The Pittsburgh Penguins opened the regular season in Stockholm on the weekend and were minus injured defencemen Sergei Gonchar (dislocated left shoulder) and Ryan Whitney (foot surgery), so they might look to a veteran like Warrener to stabilize their back line.

The six-foot-two, 210-pound Warrener had four points and a minus-2 rating in an injury filled 2007-08 season that saw the native of Shaunavon, Sask., miss 33 regular-season games and seven playoff contests with a fractured leg, and ankle and throat injuries.

Warrener has collected 24 goals and 106 points in 714 NHL regular-season games for Florida, Buffalo and Calgary.

Eriksson, 33, who signed a two-year free-agent contract with the Flames in July 2007, posted 18 points and a minus-5 rating in 61 games last season.

In 10 NHL seasons, the Swedish rearguard has amassed 171 points on 22 goals and 149 assists for Detroit, Chicago, Florida, Toronto, Columbus and the Flames.

Calgary now has the allowed 23 players in training camp as it prepares for Thursday's season opener against the Canucks in Vancouver (CBC, 7 p.m. PT).