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It was 40 years ago today that the Flames played their first game in Calgary, skating to a 5-5 tie with the Quebec Nordiques at the Corral


The crowd that curtain-raising night, 7,243, was awfully tiny by, say, Madison Square Garden or Joe Louis Arena standards.

But there wasn't a square inch of spectator real estate to be had.

Oct. 9, 1980.

"It felt,'' recalls Flames' defenceman Bob Murdoch, accustomed to infinitely larger venues such as the Omni in Atlanta or the Montreal Forum, "as if we were playing in a phone booth."

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Darryl Sutter and Jarome Iginla talk about the strong relationship they forged

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames /

This story was originally published on Feb. 28, 2019


The celebratory din that ignited with the force of a stray bullet inside a munitions factory around every square inch of the St. Pete's Times Forum had, by then, died down.

What awaited the Flames as they stepped outside into the reality of a dream dashed was a brazier-like Florida heat, even so late into the night, and the numbing prospect of a long, silent charter flight home.

"Game 7 in Tampa, after we lost, we were the last two guys to walk out of the rink," Darryl Sutter is reminiscing of June 7, 2004.

"Just feeling … well.

"He was taking it so bad.

"He was hurting.

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'When somebody asks me what pleases me most about his career, I always say: 'How much people love him'

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames /

This story was originally published on July 31, 2018


The lady had, considering the emotional resonance of the day, the absolute chicest possible fashion accessory - a pair of Jarome Iginla-inspired ear-rings.

Front of the sweater/Flaming C crest dangling from one lobe, the back signature No. 12 and nameplate from the other.

"When somebody asks me what pleases me most about his career, I always say: 'How much people love him,'' says Susan Schuchard, her son Jarome having officially bid farewell in his old neighbourhood to the league he had enriched, a game he had mastered, for two decades.

"He's had a wonderful career and I've been so lucky to able to watch him play the game he loves, since the age of seven," she says. "I have so many memories. And he's had so many wonderful things happen to him.

"But his character, the way people talk about him as a person, how nice he is, how accommodating to everyone, that's what I take away more than anything."

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Tanguay says skill, drive, desire and belief set Iginla apart

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames /

This story was originally published on July 29, 2018


They were, in a word, simpatico.

Alex Tanguay, the light-fingered sorcerer able to yank the tablecloth off without so much as disturbing a single piece of cutlery, and Jarome Iginla, among the most ruthless finishers of an era.

"I don't know what made us good together," says Alex Tanguay. "His game was based on shooting and power. My game wasn't.

"I was more of a passer.

"So I guess we complemented each other.

"I remember passing the puck to him and it didn't matter where or how hard the pass was. I knew he'd e able to shoot it with power and accuracy.

"Playing with a guy like that, you want to make use of his best assets. So you search them out. Him being on the left side and me being on the right, I remember being able to float pucks into his wheelhouse and … bang."

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Iginla recalls his first game as a Flame - the realization of a lifelong dream

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames /

This story was originally published on July 25, 2018


In this time, of all times, a moment for reminiscing, for reflection, one night comes into sharper focus than virtually any other.

"You go from watching highlights the night before,'' muses the 41-year-old Jarome Iginla of April 21, 1996, "following Calgary, of course - the highlights on TV are always the best part of the playoffs as a kid, right? - to actually being part of it.

"In the space of only a few hours.

"Just surreal.

"So, so surreal.

"I literally go from being a fan one night to centring Theo Fleury - a guy I've watched growing up, such a great, dominating player - and German Titov the next afternoon.

"Facing off against (the Blackhawks), (Jeremy) Roenick. Going in corners against (Chris) Chelios. Shooting on (Ed) Belfour.

"I remember all of it so vividly.

"It was kinda like being inside a video game."

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Legendary Calgary sports broadcaster and former Flames PA announcer has passed away at the age of 80


Legendary Calgary sports broadcaster and former Flames PA announcer Russ Peake has passed away at the age of 80.

From 1980 to 1996, his voice welcomed fans at the Stampede Corral when the team first arrived in our city, then later in the storied Saddledome. 

Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends, and all those who knew and loved Russ.

Below is a wonderful story George Johnson wrote about him for before our Retro Night on Jan. 21, 2017.


Video: We pay tribute to Russ Peake



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Life at the rink and the road can put stress on a family, but for the growing number of Flames dads, they've learned to cherish moments at home more than ever before


Playing in the NHL is a life-long dream come true for those that make it. It's an honour, one achieved through years of hard work and dedication to their craft. However, one thing even better than being a professional hockey player is being a dad. We talked to some of our players and GM this season about the demands of the job, the Christmas season, and being away often on the road, like the current four-game road trip the team just returned from.

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Coach lauds Tkachuk for his impressive game in win over Oilers


And now, boys and girls, a public service announcement from Matthew Tkachuk, Safety Warden.

"If he doesn't want to get hit,'' advised Tkachuk. "stay off the tracks.

"I caught him three times there. You'd think he'd learn after the first one.

"If he wants to react like that, we'll take the powerplay, we'll take the game winner and we'll move on to first place."


Video: "If he doesn't want to get hit, stay off the tracks"


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Tonight's Battle of Alberta tilt will have plenty on the line again: 'Two teams fighting to get into the playoffs, climb higher in the standings and set themselves up the best way they can.'


Sifting backwards through the mists of time, Mikael Backlund tapped into his personal long-ago baptism instalment of the Battle of Alberta.

"Of course you always remember the first one. They'd lost something like 12 or 14 in a row and we'd lost I think, nine in a row,'' recalled the 11-season veteran pivot of that etched-in-memory night a decade ago.

"I remember both Gio and Iggy fought during the game.

"And of course I remember that we won, so their streak continued and ours ended.

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Talbot talks about having a great night as he outduelled Alex Stalock at other end of the ice


Not even the usually can't-miss Kiss Cam had a chance of generating more buzz on this night.

Not with the Human Highlight Cam in such eye-popping form.

"A lot of action at both ends,'' summed up Cam Talbot, appearing none the worse for wear after withstanding a 42-save barrage. "(Alex) Stalock played a heckuva game, as well.

"I thought we could've had a few more.


Video: "There was a lot of action at both ends"


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