CALGARY - Al MacInnis is already in the Hall of Fame, but now he'll have a permanent place above one of the rinks where he made his name.
MacInnis was honored during a pregame ceremony prior to Monday night's game between the Blues and Calgary Flames.
MacInnis, whose Hall of Fame career spanned 23 seasons, 13 with the Flames and 10 more with the Blues, became the first player honored under the "Forever a Flame" program.
"Certainly it's a great honor," said MacInnis, whose wife and four children were on hand as a special banner was hoisted to the rafters at the Scotiabank Saddledome. "I have a lot of special and fond memories from the 13 years I spent with the Flames."
While MacInnis' number isn't being retired by the organization that drafted him in the first round (15th overall) of the 1981 NHL draft, the "Forever a Flame" distinction will serve to recognize his contributions to the team. A concourse display area is being created at the Saddledome that will be dedicated to MacInnis and future honorees.
As well as being named an all-star eight times in his 13 years with the Flames, MacInnis won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP when Calgary won the Stanley Cup in 1989.
MacInnis, who now serves as vice president of hockey operations with the Blues, left Calgary after the 1992-93 season to sign with St. Louis.
"It was not an easy decision," said the native of Port Hood, Nova Scotia, who will be remembered for his booming slapshot. "The change was good for me. It re-energized my career and I went on to play very good hockey for the St. Louis Blues."