With the Stanley Cup Finals days away, the excitement across the hockey community is palpable. In our own beautiful city, Calgary, the fans of the great frozen game are already getting into the mood. Whether it be viewing parties or road trips, the Calgary hockey fan is getting prepared for what will no doubt be a thrilling series between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins.
Even the cities own hockey team, the Flames, are catching the vapours and getting involved. The team owns a bar downtown, called Flames Central, that is known for being the stage of Iginla's sister's boxing matches, and overpriced and underwhelming food and drinks. Well, in celebration of the lone Canadian team still alive and eligible to win the Stanley Cup, the team is choosing to throw it's full weight behind it's rivals, and are re-branding the bar 'Canucks Central'.
While this move has caused considerable consternation on behalf of the real fans of the Calgary Flames, we here at Dome Beers don't think it is that big of a deal. Relax, it is all in good fun, right? What's the big deal in celebrating the success of an immediate conference competitor, right?
It actually got us here at Dome Beers to do some thinking. What other events, in the name of fan friendly fun, do the Calgary Flames have on their schedule this year? Well, we did a little investigating, and through our sources at the 'Dome, actually managed to get our hands on the upcoming promotional schedule for the 2011-12 season.
Some of the highlights are:
October 16th, 2011: Wayne Gretzky Appreciation Night: (From the promotional guide)
- Wayne Gretzky was a phenomenal talent, and quite possibly the best hockey player the world will ever see. Come on down to the Saddledome and relive the memories of old #99 doing what he does best, killing the Flames in a playoff series. The first 15,000 people in the Saddledome will receive a commemorative #99 embroidered handkerchief, to wipe away the tears of joy you will no doubt experience taking this magical trip down memory lane. Also, we will be showing highlights of the magical Game 4 of the 1990 playoff series between the Kings and the Flames, where Wayne tallied 5 points and his Kings downed the Flames 12-4.
November 22nd, 2011: Patrick Roy Rookie Card Night: (From the promotional guide)
- 1986 was a great year in hockey. It was capped off with a rookie goaltender backstopping the storied Montreal Canadians to the hockey promised land, the Stanley Cup. What a magical, storybook ending to a season. The first 5,000 children in attendance will be given a Patrick Roy rookie card, so as to be able to relive the majesty of that moment, the beginning of the Roy Legend.
December 24th, 2011: Doug Risebrough Bobblehead Night: (From the promotional guide)
- Christmas is a time of giving, and a time where giving is celebrated. Which is why this Christmas eve, the first 20,000 fans in attendance will be given an exclusive Doug Risebrough bobblehead. Nothing in Calgary Flames history quite embodies the spirit of Christmas, the giving of charity to those who are less fortunate, than the 10 player, January 2nd, 1992 trade that saw Risebrough graciously give away Gilmour to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In fact, that act was so inspiring, years later Darryl Sutter would try to re-enact the act of charity by giving away Phaneuf to the Maple Leafs. Get inspired as well, and get your tickets to the Doug Risebrough Bobblehead Night today!
January 14th, 2012: Jose Theodore Hart Trophy Commemoration Night: (From the promotional guide)
- The 2001-02 hockey season left the hockey fan with a lot of cherished memories. Besides being the debut season of Ales Kotalik, that season also saw the excellent and world class goal tending displayed by perennial All-Star and shoe in for the Hall of Fame, Jose Theodore. In fact, because Theodore's efforts in net were so spectacular, and the competition for the league MVP was so mediocre, the 2001-02 season would see the Hart Trophy awarded to a goalie, with no controversy whatsoever involved. The Calgary Flames, to celebrate the accomplishment, will offer the first 10,000 fans into the building a free bottle of Rogaine.
February 5th, 2012: Ruslan Fedotenko Puck Night: (From the promotional guide)
- The 2003-2004 Stanley Cup playoff run by the Calgary Flames created a mountain of memories that are shared by all the fans, and which won't soon be forgotten. From the crazy hair of Mike Commodore to the cockamamie antics of Ville Nieminen, there was something for everyone to get on board and cheer for. But perhaps the most iconic moment of the run was when the plucky winger Ruslan Fedotenko cruised down the wing and scored the championship winning goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now you too can relive those awesome memories. The first 15,000 fans into the building will be given a commemorative puck, featuring the handsome likeness of Ruslan Fedotenko scoring on Miikka Kirprusoff in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.
March 11th, 2012: Rico Fata Memorial Night (From the promotional guide)
- The Calgary Flames have a proud tradition of drafting their own talent. Perhaps nobody who has ever worn the Flaming 'C' has embodied this phenomenon then the great Rico Fata. Drafted 6th overall, Fata would eventually play a whopping 27 games for the club, notching an impressive point along the way. Unfortunately, market forces would soon mean that the Flames would have to part with the fan favourite. And even though Fata would go on to play for four other franchises, he will always be a Flame at heart. The fans attending this game can expect a video tribute highlighting Rico Fata's single highlight reel moment as a Calgary Flame.
April 1st, 2012: Kerry Fraser Whistle Give Away Night: (From the promotional guide)
- For whatever reason, there has been this myth that Martin Gelinas actually scored the Stanley Cup winning goal in Game 6 of the 2003-2004 Stanley Cup Finals. Even though video evidence thoroughly disproves this, a good, honest referee had his reputation tarnished. Kerry Fraser never in his entire career made a bad call against the Calgary Flames, and he certainly didn't miss a series changing one. Which is why all fans in attendance to this game will be given a whistle, to use only when the time calls for it. Or not use, depending.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.