When CalgaryFlames.com asked for the best playoff stories, traditions and photos from fans, we were inundated with submissions. While a large amount were from fans in and around Calgary, there were some amazing tales of fans who’ve never stepped foot in Canada or who are only able to watch games via the Internet due to the time differences, language barriers and other restrictions.
Aleksey Glyb of Moscow, Russia has never been to Calgary but has been a huge supporter of the club since their 1989 Stanley Cup win. At age 13, he saw a quick sports clip on USSR TV about the Flames Cup win and was hooked.
“It was a really short overview but it was enough for 13 year-old boy.”
|Aleksey Glyb shows his Flames pride in his hometown of Moscow, Russia. |
Since then he’s been on a hunt for any coverage he can find. It’s gotten easier with the emergence of the Internet and the opening of Moscow’s first sports bar as it has NASN, an international sports channel. Glyb has been a frequent visitor there since it’s opening even though, due to the time difference, games start in the middle of the night.
Throughout the lean years, Glyb simply wished for the postseason and he got more than he could have ever dreamed of in 2004.
“I really forgot what it means to go to bed at night for that time,” he told CalgaryFlames.com.
Despite the joy of the 2004 run, his favourite memory is from the 1993-94 season.
“One of the Russian TV channels had shown a Flames regular game vs. Vancouver. It was so unusual for Russian TV and it was the game with Flames! It was the first time when I saw Flames in regular NHL season game and it was really great! I was happy to see Flames and it wasn't really important that they lost that game.”
Stefan Danicic hails from Hoechstadt, Germany. He became an avid Flames fan when he visited the city for a couple of months in 2004. During his two-month stay he was fortunate enough to see two games live and watched every game he could on television. He developed a love for the game, and the team, in that short span and has been following the club ever since.
When he got back to Germany, he realized how tough it was to find games on television. Thankfully, due to some connections, he was able to take in some of the famous Cup run.
“Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004 I watched in a bar. The bartender knows me and so he opened till 6 a.m.”
Over the past several years he’s become endeared to a couple of a Flames superstars.
“Iggy! Great player! I think all Flames fans like him,” Danicic said, adding Dion Phaneuf is also one of his favourite players. “Great shots! Great defender! Great checks!”
He wanted something to show his dedication to the team and after not being able to find any Flames merchandise in his country, he got creative.
“Back in Germany, I needed a sticker for the back of my car, so everyone knows that I'm a Flames fan. Cause you couldn't buy it; I decided to produce it. Especially for me! So no one has this sticker!”
Scott Sauermann is a different position than Glyb and Danicic as, being from Radium, BC, he’s able to follow the club closely. Last season, he embarked on trip that epitomizes what a die-hard fan will do for their team.
He and his friend Todd Gulevich set out a four-game road trip last February that saw them travel over 3,900 kilometers in a ’95 Firefly. They were able to take in games in San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Phoenix during the 10-day jaunt, watching the Flames pick up a split on the road swing.
Sauermann said that he and Gulevich were amazed at the amount of Flames fans they met along the way.
“We met several Flames fans at the first game in San Jose. Eventually all of us became good close friends,” said Sauermann. “We all started meeting at and before every game, which made the journey even more fun. Everyday of our trip had something new.”
They were also lucky enough to meet several players after the game against the Kings.
|Darren Peterson, Todd Gulevich and Scott Sauermann met Dion Phaneuf during their 10-day road trip to watch the Flames. |
“We were the stragglers out of the building because security at the Staples Center took away our sign, capes, and flags so once we got those back, another Flames fan grabbed us and was like ‘There are a few of the players meeting fans on the concourse,’” Sauermann recalled. “So we strolled over and there was Regehr, Phaneuf, and Conny. Regehr was killing himself laughing that we drove all the way down in a Firefly. Phaneuf had to have thanked us 10 times for being such great fans and well, Conny is just such an all-around great guy, nothing but class. We hung out for about 20 minutes talking hockey and about our road trip. It was so great because the guys remembered us the next two games when we were at ice level for warm up.”
As the city gears up for the postseason, we know the C of Red and fans from around the globe will bring energy, enthusiasm and passion to every game their Calgary Flames play in.