FlamesNation’s 2023-24 holiday hockey viewer’s guide

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
5 months ago
It’s the holiday season! From all of us at FlamesNation, we wish you all an amazing holidays no matter what particular observance you’re making. And a common thread throughout many of our holidays is the gathering of loved ones in a confined space.
If you’re hoping to find reasons to get out of the house, or at least distractions from each other, we’ve put together a quick rundown of hockey-related events happening in and around Calgary that could be worth checking out. (Your mileage may vary.)

The Flames

The Flames play two games in December, both at home. They host the Seattle Kraken on Dec. 27 (7:30 p.m. start) and the Philadelphia Flyers on New Year’s Eve (6 p.m. start). After that they had to Minnesota to face the Wild on Jan. 2. All of their games during this period are conveniently on Sportsnet West.

The Wranglers

If the Flames haven’t scratched your pro hockey itch, Dustin Wolf and the Calgary Wranglers play four games at the ‘Dome during the holiday period. They host the Abbotsford Canucks on Dec. 28 & 29 (7 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively), then host the Coachella Valley Firebirds on Jan. 1 & 2 (1 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively). It’s kind of fun that the two holiday match-ups are Calder Cup playoff rematches.

Circle K Classic Tournament

The Calgary Hitmen are on the road, but if you’re still jazzed about seeing high-end amateur hockey, take in some of the Circle K Classic Tournament (formerly the Mac’s Tournament). It runs Dec. 27-Jan. 1 at Max Bell Arena and Seven Chiefs Sportsplex. The event features a ton of high-end teams that end up feeding players into the Western Hockey League, collegiate hockey and a wild array of other leagues. The team Jarome Iginla is coaching, RHA Kelowna, is one of the teams making the trek in for the tournament. (If you can’t make it down in-person, FloHockey is streaming the games, too, for a fee.)

It’s not hockey, but…

The Roughnecks’ home-opener is Dec. 30. If you haven’t ever been to a Roughnecks game, you gotta go down to at least one. It’s a completely different vibe than any of the hockey teams and the games are pretty eventful as well.

The World Juniors

We’ll have a separate breakdown about the tournament, but if you’re a Flames fan, you’re likely going to be excited for this tournament, taking place in Gothenburg, Sweden from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.
Canada’s the two-time defending champions and they’re in Group A. The lone Flames prospect, Slovakia’s Samuel Honzek, is in Group B. All the games can be watched on the various TSN channels, with the games starting between 4 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. MT depending on the day. (Check your local listings.)

The Spengler Cup

Finally, it wouldn’t be the winter holidays without the Spengler Cup. This European invitational tournament – which according to Wikipedia was started to give German-language teams a showcase following World War I – runs Dec. 26-31. This tournament is also on TSN, with games starting daily at 7 a.m. and noon MT – though the opening game is at 6 a.m. MT. (Check your local listings.)

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