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Posted On Sunday, 10.06.2013 / 2:54 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Saddledome ready for Flames' home opener

CALGARY -- The 'Dome wasn't rebuilt in a day.

But less than three months after the Elbow River destroyed everything below the eighth row of seats at Scotiabank Saddledome, the Calgary Flames are ready for their home opener Sunday.

"It's special," coach Bob Hartley said Saturday. "I came in shortly after the flood. I had to wear that astronaut suit to get downstairs. I came back around August 20th and I saw all those workers, I saw the pride. I was not even asking a question, they were saying 'Coach, we're going to get this ready for you'."

They did. Crews spent nearly three months removing 30 million gallons of water that left the event level of Scotiabank Saddledome a total loss.

The June flood, dubbed one of the worst natural disasters in Canadian history, was the first time in nine decades that the city of Calgary has had to declare a state of emergency. The province of Alberta estimates over $5 billion will be required to rebuild infrastructure after the flood forced the evacuation of over 100,000 Calgarians and 14,500 homes were damaged.

The home of the Flames was one of them.

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Posted On Sunday, 10.06.2013 / 2:24 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

No Stajan for Flames; Lack starts for Canucks

CALGARY -- Thanks to a deep leg contusion from Thursday against the Washington Capitals, center Matt Stajan isn't ready to return to action in the Calgary Flames' home opener against the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

"I saw him this morning," coach Bob Hartley said. "He looks like he had a few slices of pizza and burgers over the last week. He has a big butt right now."

The injury means newcomer Joe Colborne, acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs six days ago, will play in his second straight game for the Flames. Colborne played 12:41 in his Flames debut Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, recording no points but a team-high four hits.

Making the game extra special for the 23-year-old is the fact he grew up in Calgary.

"I'm trying to just keep calm and relax," Colborne said. "There's going to be a lot of emotion, a lot of energy out there. I'm going to have quite a few people in the stands. It should be fun."

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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 9:07 AM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Baertschi hoping to find stride at Flames camp

CALGARY -- Sven Baertschi knows what's at stake. He knows there are no guarantees.

The 20-year-old rookie is aware that despite closing last season as the team's hottest forward with points in seven straight games to close the season, he's no lock to start the season with the Calgary Flames.

"That's what's really exciting about this camp this year," Baertschi said. "There's not much guaranteed here and everyone has to earn a spot. It should be really intense out there and that's the fun part about hockey. If it wasn't intense, it wouldn't be much fun."

Taken by the Flames with the 13th pick of the 2011 NHL Draft, Baertschi had set the bar to almost unattainable expectations when he scored three goals in five games during an emergency call-up from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League in 2011-12.


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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 5:17 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Calgary has new captain; Flames not naming names

CALGARY -- Bob Hartley knows who will be the next captain of the Calgary Flames.

He's just not telling.

Searching for a replacement after dealing franchise face and longtime captain Jarome Iginla in the days leading up to the trade deadline last season, Hartley's got the "C" firmly stitched on the jersey of one of his players.

"I want to make it clear, we're not thinking of someone, our choice is made up a long time ago," Hartley said after the coach watched his team hit the ice for the first time in training camp.

"We sat last year, we went through the individual meetings, we talked with the players, I sat down and talked with Jay, I talked with management, I even talked with ownership and our choice was clear-cut. We have some very good prospects to be captains, to be assistant captains. All our meetings were done and basically we were coming up with one name.

"It was basically unanimous that it was the one guy."

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 4:30 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Chicago trio discusses Stanley Cup vs. Olympic gold

CALGARY -- Few players can boast that they've hoisted the Stanley Cup over their head and had an Olympic gold medal placed around their neck.

But for three members of the Chicago Blackhawks who have won both, the accomplishments generate totally different emotions.


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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 3:25 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Canada ready for Sochi challenge

CALGARY -- Four years ago, home-ice advantage in Vancouver helped play a role in Canada's Olympic gold. The Canadians won't have that luxury when they try to defend their gold medal in Sochi, Russia, in February.

Though the rivalry between the two countries may not be quite as intense as it once was, Canadian center Jonathan Toews is aware that a trip to Sochi will be a journey into hostile and relatively unfamiliar territory.


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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 7:24 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Phaneuf determined to stay free of distractions

CALGARY -- There's only one thing that has the attention of Dion Phaneuf -- the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Entering the final season of a six-year, $39 million contract and in the middle of Canada's national men's team orientation camp, the Maple Leafs captain has plenty of distractions but he insists his sole focus is the start to the season in Toronto.


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Posted On Sunday, 08.25.2013 / 8:05 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Bruins forward Bergeron '95 percent' after injuries

CALGARY -- After suffering multiple injuries on the road to the Stanley Cup Final, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said Sunday he is closing in on a complete recovery.

"I feel pretty good," Bergeron said at an introductory press conference for Canada national men's team orientation camp. "I'm pretty much 95 percent to where I'd like to be. [It] took a little time to get back to feeling good and normal, but workouts, and I've been on the ice this week and it's been feeling well, so I've felt pretty good."

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Posted On Sunday, 08.25.2013 / 7:35 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

No advantage given to Blackhawks' Olympic hopefuls

CALGARY -- The Chicago Blackhawks participating in Canada's national men's team orientation camp this week will have no competitive advantage when it comes to cracking the Olympic roster, coach Mike Babcock said Sunday.

The chemistry between Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews alongside goaltender Corey Crawford will gain the reigning Stanley Cup Champions no special consideration.

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Posted On Friday, 04.19.2013 / 2:24 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ducks closing in on division title, No. 2 seed

CALGARY -- The Anaheim Ducks, winless in their past three games, are looking to get back on track against the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

A victory over the Flames would bring the Ducks within one win of clinching the Pacific Division title, something coach Bruce Boudreau is eying.

"We'd certainly like to have that, and then we'd love to secure second overall in the Western Conference, which I think is the same thing, two wins, but every team that we're playing is playing really hard right now," he said. "Calgary's a great example of a team not throwing in the towel. To beat a hungry Detroit team in their last game says something to me. We better be ready."

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic