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RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

Players weigh in on new head coach Bill Peters

by GEORGE JOHNSON @NHLFlames / calgaryflames.com

In the unfamiliar role as audience member, not integral part of the show, Mark Giordano came away impressed.

"As a player, any time you have a new head coach coming in you want to gain that trust, build that relationship as quickly as possible," emphasized the Flames captain, after taking in the media conference formally introducing Bill Peters as the 17th head coach in franchise history.

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THE GAME PLAN

New head coach talks about his style, philosophy and direction he wants to take Flames

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

Back in the day, Bill Peters recalled fondly, the coaching bunker down at event level of The Joe made for some lively tactical debates.

Not only did Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock tolerate open dialogue on the ins-and-outs of game-planning, he encouraged - even relished - a bit of back-and-forth.

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PRODUCT OF ALBERTA

Your Flames Authority George Johnson talks to new head coach Bill Peters about his roots and getting to coach at home

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

He's as unabashedly, quintessentially Alberta as an Ian Tyson tune, a view of Moraine Lake at twilight, a particularly rank bull on $100,000 Stampede Showdown Sunday or the spiralling Hoodoos corkscrewing out of the Drumheller Valley floor.

"Born in Three Hills, raised in Killam,'' is how Bill Peters describes his upbringing.

"That's me. That's who I am.

"I'm proud of where I'm from.

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FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE

Treliving said he was extremely impressed with Peters after duo worked together at world hockey championships

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

The sample size of collaboration, Brad Treliving will concede, wasn't overtly large. A shade more than four weeks, stem to stern.

Yet his experiences at the 2016 IIHF World Hockey Championships made an indelible impression on the co-general manager of Canada's bid for a 26th global title.

Ending as they did in gold-medal triumph at the VTB Ice Palace in Moscow on May 26 - 2-0 over Finland - only served as confirmation.

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COMING IN CLUTCH

Glenn Gawdin has been a key player for Swift Current in the playoffs

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Most people are satisfied to trod the boards at out-of-the-way, rubber-chicken-entree dinner theatres.

Others, those striving for something more, something greater, yearn to see their name twinkling merrily above the marquee lights outside Carnegie Hall.

They're the ones rising to the occasion at that moment standards are at their most exacting, when the spotlight shines its most luminous.

Game 7s, anywhere, anytime, are just such moments.

So to be behind enemy lines, 4,765 pro-Warriors patrons shoehorned into Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, an all-Saskie WHL Eastern Division semi-final and endeavouring to get up off the canvas in the wake of a 3-2 triple-overtime loss at home 72 hours earlier?

Got this.

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LOOKING FORWARD

Your Flames Authority George Johnson on today's coaching changes and what Mark Giordano said about move

by GEORGE JOHNSON @NHLFlames / calgaryflames.com

This, insisted Brad Treliving, had nothing to do with scapegoating. 

It's about moving forward.

It's about getting better.

It's about drawing the most out of what's on offer.

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PART OF THE DNA

Your Flames Authority George Johnson recounts how inking Backlund to long-term deal was pivotal move for the future

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com
Your Flames Authority George Johnson is looking back on five highlights from the past season:
 
1. THE DYNAMIC DUO
2. LAST LINE OF DEFENCE
3. YOUTH MOVEMENT
4. HEART AND SOUL
5. PART OF THE DNA (today)

 

A best two-out-of-three coin flip as to who seemed happier on the late afternoon of Feb. 16: The guy actually putting pen to paper inside the Flames' executive inner sanctum or the gent handing him the ballpoint.

"This has always been my mindset,'' assured a beaming Mikael Backlund, shortly after being inked to a six-year, $31-million agreement to forego free agency and remain in Calgary.

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HEART AND SOUL

Your Flames Authority George Johnson tells us about how Matthew Tkachuk has become an integral part of the Flames fabric, both on and off the ice

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com
Your Flames Authority George Johnson is looking back on five highlights from the past season:
 
1. THE DYNAMIC DUO
2. LAST LINE OF DEFENCE
3. YOUTH MOVEMENT

4. HEART AND SOUL

 5. 

 

The Edge is more than a guitarist for Irish rockers U2; I Walk The Line not merely an anthemic Billboard chart-topper for Johnny Cash.

That's where Matthew Tkachuk plies his trade; the tightrope he straddles like a Cirque de Soleil acrobat on game nights.

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YOUTH MOVEMENT

The Stockton Pipeline pumped talent up to the big club this season, as Your Flames Authority George Johnson recaps

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com
Your Flames Authority George Johnson is looking back on five highlights from the past season:
 
1. THE DYNAMIC DUO
2. LAST LINE OF DEFENCE
3. YOUTH MOVEMENT (today)

 

Juggling four pucks with the dexterity of a carnival street performer, Mark Jankowski was understandably revelling in the moment.

In the absence of Sean Monahan - bumped up to the top line alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Michael Ferland, Jankowski had just made the last game of his freshman campaign one for the family album.

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LAST LINE OF DEFENCE

Your Flames Authority George Johnson looks back on Mike Smith's first season in Calgary, where he displayed stellar goaltending and a fiery passion on the ice

by GEORGE JOHNSON @NHLFlames / calgaryflames.com
Your Flames Authority George Johnson is looking back on five highlights from the past season:
 
1. THE DYNAMIC DUO
2. LAST LINE OF DEFENCE (today)   

 

Whether exorcising an excruciating 11-year Honda Center curse, trading jabs (verbal and otherwise) with slope-shouldered Oiler marauder Milan Lucic ,or issuing a challenge to his mates to step up to the plate, Mike Smith refused to take a backward step.

"That's just me,'' explained Smith of his fiery reputation. "I'm a competitive person. It's in my blood. I'm not going to change. That's part of who I am.

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