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Posted On Saturday, 02.19.2011 / 6:42 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Heritage Classic alumni live game blog

We're underway

We're under way here at McMahon.

Calgary started with a powerhouse front line, running out Gary Roberts, Lanny McDonald and Joe Nieuwendyk.

But it was Mike Vernon, in goal, who created the first signature moment of the game. Less than a minute into the game -- his first since he retired -- he made a smart save and helped turn the puck the other way.

Also interesting is that Joel Otto, one of the best two-way centers of his generation, is playing defense in this game.

Also, Martin Gelinas, a former Flame, is playing for Montreal, which has a short bench for this game.





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Posted On Saturday, 02.19.2011 / 6:34 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Heritage Classic alumni live game blog

Great memories

Calgary forward Theo Fleury has been enjoying the trip down memory lane this weekend in Calgary.

He arrived in Calgary a few days ago after finishing an old-timers tour of Canada. He has been posting twitter messages about his adventures and the reunions with teammates from that 80s powerhouse.

The 1989 team might be the best that this city has ever seen.

Six players on that team, which beat Montreal in six games in the 1989 Stanley Cup Final, produced at least one 50-goal season. Joe Nieuwendyk, Gary Roberts, Haakan Loob, Lanny McDonald, Fleury and Joe Mullen. That team also had Doug Gilmour, who only managed a career-best 42 goals, and topped the 100-point plateau for the first of three times in his career.




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Posted On Saturday, 02.19.2011 / 6:19 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Heritage Classic alumni live game blog

Excitement building

Faceoff for the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic Alumni Game is less than 10 minutes away here at McMahon Stadium.

Excitement has been building throughout the afternoon as the alums from the Calgary Flames prepare to rekindle their late 1980s rivalry with alum from the Montreal Canadiens. The teams met in the Stanley Cup Final twice in the span of four years. Montreal won the first match in 1986, but Calgary gained revenge in 1989, claiming the Stanley Cup at the Montreal Forum to add insult to injury for the proud Flames.

The two alumni rosters are loaded.

Three Hall opf Famers are involved: Lanny McDonald and Al MacInnis are playing for the Flames, and Bob Gainey is coaching for Montreal.

But that is just the beginning of the talent that has been assembled. Mike Vernon, playing goal for the first time since his retirement, Joe Nieuwendyk and Gary Roberts and Theo Fleury are playing for Calgary.

Montreal's Guy Carbonneau is joined by Russ Courtnall (Montreal), Jyrki Lumme (Montreal) and Sergio Momesso (Montreal) on board.

It is a perfect late afternoon for hockey as well. Temps are hovering around minus-15 as the sun starts to fall to the horizon and warming a rather large crowd of fans gathered in the east side of the stadium.









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