The trying task of liking hockey

Ryan Lambert
September 09 2009 11:49AM


"Hey," my friend asked me the other day, "do you wanna come over and watch some football tonight?"

The idea was laughable. A mixture of college football and an NFL preseason game? Didn't he realize what tonight was? Didn't he realize to whom he was talking?

"No," I said, trying to hide my incredulity at being asked this question, "I don't think I can."

I didn't want to tell him why.

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September 09 2009 11:45AM


We have a buddy who has convinced himself for some reason that today - 09-09-09 - is a day of of magic and wonder because of the fact the date can be summarized with the same number thrice. We wonder if everyone has a buddy like this, who looks at the calendar several times a year and exclaims “DAMN SON! Do you realize that it’s (insert stupid date here)” Then he looks around in awe and wonder, as though gumdrops will rain from the sky simply because it’s September 9, 2009.

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Evaluating the usefulness of Brian McGrattan

Kent Wilson
September 09 2009 07:02AM

It's no secret that I'm personally not a fan of the "enforcer" in the modern NHL. As such, I consider the one-way contract handed out to Brian McGrattan to be Sutter's lone misstep this off-season. Here, I'll look at the various ways McGrattan's presence may (or may not) effect the Flames -

There are a number of somewhat mythological explanations behind the heavyweight in hockey: most center around "nuclear deterrent", or "policeman" - a guy who can "answer the bell" as it were. The just-in-case clause, the gun under the pillow. In earlier years, stars were protected by goons. Heck Gretzky actually skated with Semenko on his line sometimes. That doesn't happen as frequently anymore and is a difficult effect to track anyhow: how does one prove a negative? By which I mean, how does one prove the level of agitation a star receives with an enforcer on his team is less than when he plays without one? The cause and effect chain is intuitive and assumed, but, from memory and observation (ie; from watching Eric Godard) it's doesn't seem to be real. Not today.

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Warm-up act takes Saddledome ice

Jean Lefebvre
September 08 2009 07:46PM


They call it prospects camp and they call it rookie camp, neither of which is completely accurate.

Prospect has that element of speculation, of potential, of possibility, as in "He sure as heck isn't an NHLer now but we believe that with time and some physical maturity, he'll become one."

Mikael Backlund, a physically immature young forward who's still trying get the hang of hockey and life one ocean and then most of a continent away from his homeland, is a prospect.

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Flames Rookie Camp opens

Kent Wilson
September 05 2009 01:46PM


The first few steps towards the new season are being taken this weekend by the Calgary Flames prospects. There are a lot of new faces in camp this year and more than one thing to watch heading into the main camp and pre-season...

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