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Flames pipe in music during practice (picked by Rasmus Andersson), hoping "to loosen them up, get the guys moving a little bit, and get their mind on practice"

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick /

It was the sign of a new day. 

As the soft, harmonious notes of the classic, '70s hit cranked over the speakers, it felt like some kind of mistake. A soundcheck, maybe, for the Calgary Hitmen game later that evening.

But the volume picked up as the players warmed up, lowered back down as they got their orders at the whiteboard, then cranked to 11 and rocked the house as drills got underway. 

"It sure wasn't me (who picked) the songs, let's get that right," laughed interim head coach Geoff Ward, deferring to DJ Rasmus Andersson, whose choice of an Elton John power ballad was universally loved.

"We felt it was a good way loosen everybody up a little bit. We came in this morning and obviously had a meeting with (GM Brad Treliving). For us, we didn't want that hanging over what was going on in practice. For us, it was a gimmick to loosen them up, get the guys moving a little bit, and get their mind on practice."

It worked. 

It's been a tough week for the Flames, a little levity was needed.

Symbolism, too.

"Hockey's fun," said Sean Monahan. "Coming to the rink and having fun, enjoying yourself, that's what it's all about.

"We're trying to keep the energy up in the dressing room and on the ice. Having music on during practice? That's a first for me.

"And I loved it."

In the second of a three-song playlist, Queen's Radio Ga Ga took over the airwaves. 

The only thing missing was the proper stick-tapping clap-along.

OK, so it wasn't like a scene out of Live Aid - even if some in the media felt compelled to play along with the chorus. 

But it was, in a word, awesome, all the same. 


Video: "It's been a hectic few days."


"It was the first time I've ever done that," said captain Mark Giordano, who was, admittedly, part of the head-boppin' and sing-along brigade. "It was a good idea to get the guys going, get a little more jump in our step.

"I told (Andersson) I was going to chirp him if the music was good or bad. 

"I thought it was pretty good, actually."

Nothin' but the classics.     

A throwback song, for a throwback kind of player. 

"We didn't get to hear the fourth, unfortunately," Andersson lamented. "Maybe next time.

"It definitely felt a little more relaxed out there. It's been a hectic few days for a lot of people in the organization. For us players, we try to focus what we can focus on. ... It felt good. 

"It kind of got our thoughts on practice and nothing else."

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