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by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames
 
TERRY CRISP, Head coach:

"Thing about Vernie was, he never let things get to him. He'd give up a goal or we'd lose a game, he'd shrug and move on. Now his heart rate might've been 1,000 beats a minute for all I know, but he never let on.''
 
PETER MAHER, Voice of the Flames:
"I have a buddy who lives in Moncton, knows a little bit about hockey, and while the Flames farm team was there every once in a while we'd talk about prospects for the big club. I remember him telling me one time 'I know two guys down here who are NEVER going to be NHLers - Mike Vernon and Joel Otto.'
"Every time I see him, I just have to remind him. I say 'You were right. They certainly didn't amount to much.'"
 
TOM WATT, Assistant coach:
"First and foremost, Vernie was a competitor. I remember one time, in a game we won by the way, him giving up a bit of a soft goal because he'd dropped down. Crispie starts screaming at him from the bench 'You little blankety-blank SOB, stand up!' And Vernie starts screaming right back 'Why don't you .' And the entire bench just dissolved in laughter.''
 
DOUG GILMOUR, Centre:
"Vernie's fully deserving of this. First off, he's a Calgary boy and the fact that he's such an easygoing guy. A lot of other players, especially at that position and the pressure that goes with it, would've been uptight, could've easily let it all affect their game. Vernie didn't.''
 
GARY SUTER, Defenceman:
"I remember him coming up from the minors and standing on his head against the Russians. From that moment on, you couldn't get him out of the net. Growing up in Calgary, you'd think he would've been in awe of all those great Oiler teams. Not Vernie. He didn't care.''
 
DOUG RISEBROUGH, Assistant coach:
"I think the idea of playing against Patrick (Roy) appealed to his competitive nature. By 1989, Patrick was generally considered the best goalie in the league, and Vernie, I think, felt he had a point to prove. And in that final series against the Canadiens, he proved it. He was better than Patrick Roy.''
 
AL MACNEIL, coach and Flames executive:
"The one guy who was adamant about Vernie was Pierre Page. The rest of us watched him with the Wranglers and were kind of indifferent, like 'Yeah, he's a good goalie .' Pierre kept insisting that he was an NHL goalie. And there's a big difference. Funny thing is, when Vernie played for Pierre in the minors, nobody was tougher on him. Pierre, I guess, pushed him hard so he could fulfill his destiny, I guess you could say.''
 
RICK WAMSLEY, Goaltender:
"I never saw him go through a slump. I mean, other guys, they go three or four games where you're convinced they're never going to stop another shot in their entire life, and you're thinking 'Okay, I'm going to get my chance here.' Never saw that with Vernie. Never. In my opinion he's a Hall of Famer, so this honour is in keeping with that type of career.''
   












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