Ryan Pike’s first book, On The Clock: Calgary, is available today online and in stores

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
Like a lot of hockey fans that grew up in the Calgary area, I’ve been watching the Calgary Flames since I was a small child. I started going to Flames games with my father during the early 1990s, and my Sunday mornings were usually spent with the Calgary Herald stats page sprawled out over the kitchen table. (Very on-brand, I know.)
Today, my first book – On The Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Calgary Flames at the NHL Draft – is available in stores and online, wherever you purchase books. I argue that it’s a fantastic outlet for both my massive interest in Flames history, and all the miscellaneous hockey info bouncing around my brain.
The book aims to tell the story of how the Flames franchise was built, with the club’s drafting as the main focus. So we start with the run-up to the 1972 expansion and amateur drafts in Atlanta, and work all the way through to present day.
As a gigantic history nerd, it was really exciting to get to chat with the people that built the Flames franchise from the ground up. For instance, Cliff Fletcher and David Poile shared some stories about the early days in Atlanta, where the Flames braintrust began working out of a trailer, as the Omni Coliseum wasn’t completed until just before the 1972-73 NHL season began. Subsequent general managers such as Doug Risebrough, Al Coates, Craig Button, Jay Feaster, Brian Burke and Brad Treliving also provided their insights into the club’s tendencies and history, and I also chatted with Tod Button, the Flames’ longtime head of amateur scouting, about his experiences at the helm of the team’s drafting.
The book delves into how some of the Flames’ foundational players were drafted, such as Kent Nilsson, Mike Vernon, Theo Fleury, Mikael Backlund, Johnny Gaudreau and many others. It also looks into how the Flames various general managers utilized their draft choices; what strategies they used for drafting, whether they traded those picks or kept them, and how some of the club’s best teams were built through the draft.
There are some stories you’re probably a little familiar with already, but I also tried to get into some more obscure history, particularly some unique things that happened back when the team was in Atlanta and some wacky tidbits from throughout the club’s history.
The book’s available from fine retailers, both brick and mortal and online, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indigo and more. I had an absolute blast writing it, and without the support of Flames fans everywhere, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so. I really hope you enjoy it.
Let’s get rowdy! GAME DAY hosted by Flamesnation & Barn Burner at Greta Bar YYC is coming at you live on Saturday March 23rd! Join the crew at our favorite Game Day Watch Party spot, Greta, to watch Calgary take on Vancouver! Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are $10! Good food, good prizes and a guaranteed good time. This event is brought to you by McLeod Law LLP and Village Honda. Get your tickets at nationgear.ca before they sell out!

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