Rookie center Luke Adam’s plans for where he was going to spend the Portland Pirates’ Christmas break changed abruptly Monday.

Adam was scheduled to fly to Montreal to catch a connecting flight to St. John’s, Newfoundland, his hometown.

Instead, Adam flew to Buffalo, N.Y., where he is expected to suit up for the Sabres tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.

“I was going home, but not anymore,” he said. “Any time you get the opportunity to play in the NHL, it’s something you don’t complain about.”

Adam had a goal and three assists for the Pirates in three games this past weekend after he returned from a three-week stint with the Sabres. He played 10 games in his first NHL call-up, collecting a goal and an assist.

For the rest of the Pirates, the Christmas break began Monday morning after a 90-minute practice at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The players are off until Christmas Day, when the team is scheduled to practice at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center.

The game schedule resumes Sunday with a 6:30 p.m. start against the Sharks in Worcester, Mass., kicking off a busy stretch of five games in eight days.

“I think this break will help these guys,” veteran defenseman Tim Conboy said. “They’ll get their minds off hockey and everyone will come back fresh and relaxed.”

Most of the Pirates left for their hometowns, in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario or as far west as Michigan in the United States.

Conboy, who is from Minnesota, is one of just a few Pirates who will spend the break in Maine.

“It was too far to travel,” he said. “We’ve got a little guy, and it would be too much for him to spend two days in an airport.”

In his eighth pro season, Conboy, 28, is accustomed to spending the holidays away from home.

“We’ve actually never gotten this much time off, so we’re pretty used to being on the road for Christmas,” he said.


Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]