I remember the Stanley cup winning times....I remember the bad times...8 years without the playoffs. I Remember Doug Risebrough. The GM that lay waste to our franchise. All I have to do is look over at the Minnesota Wild and see what is going on there and think how lucky we are to have Darryl Sutter.
I remember going to watch Flames games during the late 1990's...10 of us guys would get together on a Saturday night, drink a bunch of beer and head down to the Dome. We would get there maybe 5-10 mins before the game and could get 10 seats in a row without an issue in the upper second balcony. We were happy just not to see Calgary get blown out. If we got a goal or two against Detroit it was as good as a win.
Colorado (Roy and Sakic) jersey's were everywhere... Yzerman jersey's were worn by most of the women fans. You would maybe see a handful of Flames jersey's in the crowd if you looked hard enough. Most were the last remnants from our days of Lanny and Stanley. They were the 89 jersey's you would see worn by the fans not the current edition for that time period. Jersey's of the mid-late 90's were so freaking ugly that no one dare buy one let alone wear it.
Most people just didn't go...the building attendance would be announced around 14,000 and we all would know there was probably only 10,000. The Lower bowl was full of business people who were barley interested in what was going on on the ice, just there because some oil company gave them the tickets.
I remember the 8th year of missing the playoffs...the Flames actually battled hard all season and were close till almost the last game of ther year. That last home game at the end of the 3rd after 8 years of pain...the Fans were so apprieciative that they were actually involved in a playoff race they gave them a standing ovation.
I remember losing our ONLY franchise player Theoryn Fleury to Colorado on trade deadline to Colorado !
And now...I remember Sutter!
I've seen how Sutter instantly turned the mind set around on the Calgary Flames. I've seen them go from missing the playoffs to consistantly being in the playoffs and respected around the league. We are drafting well, we have a lot of talent coming up that will make us competive for years to come. We have more than one franchise player. We have been to the Finals! We are playing in front of a sea of red every game. We have sold out more than 200 games straight and our Jersey's are finally decent enough to wear proudly. Kids everywhere in this city wearing Flames jersey's. The grass roots for hockey and Flames's fans have never been better. Player's in the NHL love playing here...to play in this hockey market is amazing for them. We aren't losing players at the deadline....we are bringing them in! I heard someone say... " I don't know if Sutter will be back if the Flames lose in the first round " I just laughed and thought they are crazy and I remember how brutal it was without him.
Anyways...I have been getting picky and critical lately...
All I have to say now is that these are the good times and I should just enjoy!
GO FLAMES GO
IN SUTTER I TRUST !