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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Calgary Flames Season Preview

Shilling out for 'The Man'. Read it if you like hockey, pass if not.


And so it begins, the much anticipated return of the Calgary Flames. After having an entire season wiped out due to a labor disruption, the green light is finally on for the defending Western Conference Champions to take the last step they were unable to take last time there was hockey played: To win the Stanley Cup.

Never has a season been met with such optimism as this upcoming campaign. The parched mouths of play-off starved hockey fans in Calgary were finally quenched with a dream run that fell just short of the ultimate goal of hoistings Lord Stanley's Mug; A goal, that to that point in Southern Alberta, was just as far-fetched as having a Liberal provincial government. The Calgary Flames managed to capture the heart and minds of it's citizens with their hard-nosed style, garnering for themselves a Western identity that fans and non-fans alike could relate with.

That was then and this is now. The onset of the most anticpiated NHL season in recent memory is upon us, and the Flames have stocked up to ensure that last season's sucess is not a one-shot deal. Armed with a new Collecive Bargaining Agreement, the Flames went shopping in the off-season, adding talent and experience that, under the old rules of hockey businees, were simply un-attainable. Joining the already formidable team is proven goal-scorer and Daryl Sutter disciple Tony Amonte; Power-play quarterback and Defensive stalwart Roman Hamrlik, as well as gritty power-forward Darren McCarty. Those, combined with last off-season acquisitions Daymond Langkow and super prosepct Dion Phanuef have Flames fans thinking that those once foolish dream of hosting a Stanley Cup Parade down 17th avenue may not be so far-fetched after all.

So, as we begin all over again, we remember that every journey has its begining, and this ones' start is training camp. There are no gurantees in hockey, no birth-rites, and should the Calgary Flames take that last step, it will be one earned, not handed to them. We in the FlameNation eagerly await their progress and will do all the encouraging our well-rested vocal-chords can offer as we prepare for the winter and the ride they will take us on.


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