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Fans show appreciation for Vernon's goaltending achievements

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames
We recently asked fans to send Mike Vernon a jersey retirement message. We received hundreds and hundreds of e-mails. Below is a sampling of the well-wishes we received.

Hey Mike, thanks for all those great games, you were a true pleasure to watch and Calgary is very proud of what you have done for us and the NHL. Enjoy it. - John

Congratulations Mike on an outstanding career. Although, a huge Oiler fan going back to those 80's Oiler/Flame Battles, it was a pleasure to watch you. All the best to you and your family! - Wayne

Dear Mike, you were my idol growing up and you still are to this day. My entire goaltending style is paterned after yours. Thank you for the years, the memories and most of all 89 - Jamie

Congrats! I loved you when you were with the Red Wings and I loved you even more with Calgary! - Ariel Wachner

You will always and forever be my favourite goaltender. thank you so much for the great memories, and i couldn't be happier for you. Congratulations!#30 in our program.. but #1 in our hearts.thank you Mike - Hekmat

Mike...thanks for all you did as a Cgy Flame I was at 5 of the 6 games (2 in Mtl wearing the flaming C) in '89...although Al McInnis was voted MVP you were the reason that the Cup was won by the Flames.....Congratulations hope your family is proud to see your number in the rafters. - Terry

Probably one of the most celebrated Calgary Flames of all time, many congrats and well wishes - Jonathon

I grew up idolizing you, also born in Calgary! You were mentally tough and very competitive. Congratulations on your success and thanks for being a great role model! - Sam

I was 12 years old when the Flames made it to the '89 Stanley Cup finals. I watched the Flames and created a scrapbook of pictures I got from Sports Illustrated and other magazines. Mike Vernon's play is what motivated me to become a goaltender. Whenever anyone told me I was too small to play goal, I would just think about Mike Vernon and that was motivation enough. It has been an honour to watch your career play out on TV. Thank you for the 20 years that I got to see you play - Dino

Congratulations Mike!You have certainly done more than enough to have earned this distinction, & will forever be a cornerstone of the Flames legacy - Kevin

Congratulations Mike! Well deserved, you brought unforgettable memories to all Flames fans - Michelle

Mike, you are truly deserving of this great honor. As the only goalie to lead us to a Stanley Cup, you are forever in the city's debt. Congratulations to you and your family and best wishes in the future! - Mike

Congratulations on your jersey retirement! I was 10 years old when the Flames won the Cup and I used to sneak a radio into my room under my pillow at night to listen to the Flames games while my parents thought I was asleep. You were my favourite player. I've been a hockey fan ever since! Thanks for helping make the game so exciting over the years - Sarah

Awesome Vernie. You were one of the best in the 80's. The Flames owed alot of their success back then to what you were able to do during a game. Congrats.The biggest and most long standing Flame Fan in Edmonton.- Brian

Watching the best goaltenders in the NHL during the 80's and 90's was awesome. Having one of them playing for the best team in the league amongst the best fans in the league was even better. The fact that you were born and raised here made you a home town hero. Congradulations on this tremendous honor. - Jarad

I will never forget the save you made in OT game 7 first round vs Vancouver 1988-89 season and the rest of the way to the Flames only Stanley Cup -- you were one of the best (God bless) - Chris

Mike, I watched you while growing up, and was inspired to become a goalie in large part by you. Many fans have been fickle, but to me you've always been a hall-of-fame goaltender, and I wish you the very best -Andrew

Mike. You are the reason why I love the game of hockey. I started watching hockey when I was five, and you were the player I idolized. I have 26 of your hockey cards, posters and still a Vernon jersey that I wear for every Flames game. I followed you in Detroit, but in my heart you were always a Flame. Congatulations! You deserve it! - Jonathan

Mike,I want to congratulate you on having your Calgary Flames number enshrined for all time, signifyng your place amongst the all time best Flames players ever. Reflecting back on your achievements, your career reads like a Hollywood script - so many honors and so much success and much of it accomplished in your home town in front of family, friends and adoring fans. I don't think Flames fans ever truly appreciated how much you contributed to the Flames until you left for Detroit and continued to win Stanley Cups and individual honors. Enjoy this day, relish the memories of your Flames career and be proud of your significant role in Flames' history! Once a Red Wing but forever a Flame! - Mark

I just had to sit down and say that having been in my twenties in the late 80's, I was able to watch as Mike Vernon helped take a rag tag team of under achievers and turn them into one of the most exciting teams to ever skate on frozen water, with some of the most skilled players of their time. No one other than Lanny deserves to have their number retired more than you. I will never forget the year you guys won the cup and the save you made using the tip of your skate blade in game 7 of the first round against Vancouver. That save, in my opinion, was biggest save you ever made as a Flame and helped a very talented but confident lacking Flames team reach deep and become the only visiting team to ever win the Stanley Cup in the old Montreal Form. You are a credit not only to the Flames and the NHL in general but also to the great city of Calgary and are truly a home town hero in my heart and mind. I hope someday to see you as a goalie or team coach with the Flames or anyone for that matter because any team would be very VERY lucky indeed to have your knowledge and skills at their disposal. THANK YOU for helping make the Flames a team to be reckoned with around the league, giving me the memory of yourself, Lanny, Al, Jim, Doug, Joel, Kent and all the other stars with the flames, hoisting the cup in celebration as the best in the league and also thank you also for making me proud to say I'm a born and raised Calgarian like you are. - Ross

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