Posts Tagged ‘Calgary Flames’


In the absence of key players, the Anaheim Ducks claimed former Calgary Flames forward Niklas Hagman off waivers. The Ducks have been decimated by injuries to forward Jason Blake, who is out with a lacerated wrist; defender Lubomir Visnovsky, whose finger was broken by an errant puck; and defender George Parros, whose retina was partially detached when he took a puck to his right eye during practice.

Due to immigration issues, Hagman missed the first game of a home-and-home on Wednesday between the Ducks and LA Kings. However, Hagman’s addition paid dividends in the second game on Thursday as he played a physical part in Anaheim’s 5-3 loss. Meanwhile, in Blake’s absence forward Andrew Cogliano continues to shine on the second line with Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu. As Coach Randy Carlyle awaits the return of his injured Ducks, he continues to juggle the three other lines in an effort to win games.

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This season, the wives and girlfriends of NHL players have united to lend support to the families of the players who died in the Lokomotiv Yarsolavl plane crash a month ago today. Kodette LaBarbera and Brijet Whitney (wives of Phoenix Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera and left wing Ray Whitney) are working with Katerina Jokinen (wife of Calgary Flames center Ollie Jokinen) to spearhead a fundraiser to aid the families by selling designer bracelets in memory of the players. LaBarbera and Jokinen have asked all the wives and girlfriends of players from each of the 30 NHL teams to sell the bracelets throughout the season at each home game. Some wives are also selling autographed pucks. Erica Lundmark (wife of KHL forward Jamie Lundmark) is spearheading the efforts overseas.

The wives have also launched a website to sell the memory bracelets. There are two designs – one made of semi-precious jade red and blue beads ($50 for adult’s size; $25 for kid’s size) and a red silicone band ($10).

Anyone interested in supporting this noble cause may visit the website at:

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Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla is known not only as a formidable competitor on the ice but also as one of the most charitable players in the NHL. Over the weekend, Iginla committed yet another random act of kindness by paying a surprise visit to Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

The high-scoring forward was met in Athens, Greece by TSN broadcaster Gord Miller and two members of Canada’s Olympic gold medal-winning women’s hockey team, Jayna Hefford and Marie-Philip Poulin. After a visit to the Athens Olympic Stadium and dinner with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the quintet flew to Qatar and then on to Kandahar, Afghanistan.

As the first active NHL player to visit to troops in the field, Iginla posed for photos, chatted with soldiers for two hours, and played on the outdoor ball hockey rink. Later, the group toured the Task Force Kandahar Headquarters, laid a commemorative wreath, and dined with the troops at a barbecue during which Iginla signed photos which were taken with him earlier in the day.

To underscore the admirable reputation which Iginla has acquired, Miller said, “I know people in Calgary know what kind of person Jarome is. But he was incredible. It underlies the character of the guy. I can honestly say I have never seen anyone that patient, that kind, with everyone. He asked some great questions. He was unbelievable. He had time for everyone. He just made everyone feel good.”

Upon returning to Athens, Iginla told, “It was an honor and a privilege to be asked by the Prime Minister to be part of this trip to come and meet and spend time with our troops. I met lots of guys from Alberta as well. There are lots of hockey fans and it was enjoyable to talk with all of them. Everyone has been watching the playoffs and it was cool to see the hockey rivalries among them…It was also very interesting as I toured headquarters and much of the base. It was truly an honor to spend time with our service men and women far from home.”

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The 2011 nominees for the NHL’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy have each overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, which makes each a remarkable story of facing adversity. This season, Anaheim Ducks goalie Ray Emery, Calgary Flames forward Daymond Langkow, and Philadelphia Flyers forward Ian Laperriere were each nominated for the award for “the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

Goaltender Ray Emery’s 2009-2010 season with the Philadelphia Flyers started off well, but he was sidelined by a torn abdominal muscle and was then diagnosed with avascular necrosis, a condition wherein the ball joint of the hip is deprived of blood flow and the bone dies. He had successful surgery last April to graft bone to the area, went through extensive rehab, and was signed late this season by the Anaheim Ducks who were in dire need of a veteran netminder after No. 1 goalie Jonas Hiller was hit with a bout of vertigo. Emery not only shined in the net but got the Ducks into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If he wins, Emery would be the second Anaheim Ducks player to win the Masterton Trophy. The only other Duck to win the trophy is Teemu Selanne. Although Ducks forwards Saku Koivu and Jason Blake have also won the Masterton, they did so with the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, respectively.

Last March, Flames forward Daymond Langkow suffered a fractured vertebra when he was hit by a slap shot from a teammate. He was cleared to return to the lineup just over a year after his injury and played in the Flames’ last four games of the season scoring 1 assist.

Equally as compelling is the story of Philadelphia Flyers forward Ian Laperriere who suffered a brain contusion and several facial injuries when blocking a shot during a first-round playoff game last April.  Laperriere hasn’t played this season but remains involved with the Flyers franchise by running drills with injured and extra players at the team’s training facility.

Although it’s always an honor to receive an award, the Masterton isn’t one to which most players aspire. The trophy is awarded to players who overcome great adversity and beat the odds with courage and dedication to the sport of hockey. On June 22, the Masterton Memorial Trophy will be awarded and regardless of which of the three players wins, it will go to a truly deserving and admirable athlete.

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The Calgary Flames announced today that the teams’ GM and Executive Vice President, Darryl Sutter, has stepped down at the request of President and CEO Ken King. Jay Feaster, Sutter’s assistant since July, will assume the duties as acting GM. Feaster was GM with the Tampa Bay Lightning when they “won” the Stanley Cup in 2004 (ironically, beating the Flames). Ken King said that the team is “restructuring its leadership and processes…as it enters the next phase of its growth in the NHL.”

Last season, the Flames finished 10th in the Conference and missed the playoffs while four of the previous five seasons, the team lost in the first round. The Flames are currently No. 14 out of 15 teams in the Western Conference and likely to miss the playoffs again this season. This prompted the release of Darryl Sutter, whose brother Brent is the team’s head coach.

In dispelling the notion that Brent Sutter may be relieved of his coaching duties, Feaster responded by saying, “The coaches are committed — you heard Ken say it, I’m committed to this coaching group, too. I think that Brent has done a very good job, I think he’s a very good coach, and one of the things, if you know my history before, I’m a big believer in working with the coach. And so from a hockey perspective, Brent is going to have a very large voice in my administration.”

– CeeCee

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