How cool is this? I get to call each and every one of the Flames 10 pay-per-view games this year. I get to travel to eight different cities. I get to work with Charlie Simmer, this is indeed very cool. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around this opportunity, but in just a little over a month in Nashville my dream becomes reality.
At the risk of sounding like one of these campaigning politicians full of flowery rhetoric but nothing to back it up, let me tell you this: Flames Pay Per View will have a few twists this year, I am not at liberty to discuss them at this time, but the production dudes are working on some pretty cool features and stories.
From me you will get a ton info. I won't overload you during the play, but my goal will be to give you five to 10 nuggets a game that you can use the next day to dazzle your friends. We will have fun, but still treat the broadcast with professionalism (although it is pay per view and the rules are a little different I have all but ruled out swearing during the entire game).
I really can't wait to get that first game under my belt and that will come this weekend live from Camrose as the Flames will play in a Rookie tournament with the Oilers and Canucks. The Flames will play Sunday and Monday at 7 pm and I will call both games along side my radio partner Dean "Boomer" Molberg.
In the past these rookie series have been fight fests but more recently they have morphed into pretty decent games played by young and hungry prospects hoping to advance to main camp. Don't worry though there will likely be a couple of dust ups.
Here is a couple of things that I will be watching between now and the start of the regular season:
Is there anything left for Jamie Lundmark? After playing in Europe last year and finishing the season in the AHL, Lundmark is in Flames camp on a two-way contract hoping to kick start his NHL dream. On paper this signing looks like a veteran depth player who can add scoring in Quad City. Darryl Sutter has always liked Jamie dating back to his days in the WHL and kept pretty close tabs on him last year. Lundmark is a real long shot to make this team, but look no further then a player like Dan Cleary in Detroit as a guy made the most of his last chance.
Where does Brandon Prust fit? Not a lot has been made about the fact that Prust appears to be on a one way deal so he really does have a good chance to crack the roster. As a junior in London, Brandon was recognized as a premier role player a guy who paved the way for the Knights to dominate in the OHL. As a pro the common projection for Prust is as an agitator/pest on the third and fourth lines. I maintain that one of the hardest jobs in the entire NHL is that of pest, a lot of guys try but there aren't a boatload of guys who can get under the skin of your opposition and provide you with quality minutes. The key for Prust will be his skating. Is it going to be good enough to make the jump?
Just a couple of questions that I have, and trust me I have many more, but there is plenty of time to get to all of that.
Right now I am headed out to buy a lottery ticket cause I am on a hot streak.
Rob Kerr is the hockey host at The Fan 960 and the Flames new play-by-play commentator on pay-per-view