Thursday, October 29, 2009

everything's comin' together..... :)

just shy of a year after he was handed the stanley cup on the ice at the montreal forum, lanny mcdonald watched as his #9 was hoisted to the rafters in the saddledome. the most identifyable player in calgary flames history --with his huge red moustache-- deserved to be the first player who's jersey was retired by the organization, without question. the eventual team captain came to the flames mere months after the club moved to calgary from atlanta in 1980, and he remains a visible and contributing part of the community.

the mcdonald banner is unique and looks like it was hand-stitched with love.... it shows off lanny's sweater as he would have worn it through his tenure with the flames, and was a stand-out in the rafters at the saddledome.... a true conversation piece.

seven years later, after an era of sub-par teams and lack of playoff appearances, the calgary flames decided to honour another member of the 1989 cup-winning team: hometown boy and flames' draftee, mike vernon. mikey V was indisputably a huge part of the run to the cup in '86, and the victory in '89, as well as some deep playoff runs and a second championship with the red wings in the late 90's. some might argue that, while vernon still holds many of the flames' goaltending records (games played, points, PIM), his big glory years were with another team....

i was never a huge fan of retiring vernon's number in the first place, since (to ME) there were a lot of questions regarding his place next to lanny's: was he REALLY more deserving than anyone else on the '89 squad ? would theoren fleury's #14 have been retired if it weren't for the indefinite suspension at his career's end ? if mikey V had been born and raised in sweden, would this honour have been bestowed ?? my biggest beef with the banner, of course, was its' colours. the black, red & gold "chevron" jersey (i just made this up and it stays) was introduced in 2003; the year AFTER vernon retired. to be more concise: mike vernon never wore this jersey. brutal, brutal error on the part of the calgary flames. additionally, the square shape of the pennant itself stood out uncomfortably against all of the flames' and hitmen division, conference, cup banners, and those of the retired hitmen players.

as though they knew how awful that banner looked, and as though they are preparing to hoist a new one (!!!!!), this is what i saw last night when i was down at the ol' sutterdome :

i can't say i LOVE the new banners, but i will say they look FAR better together (and with the others) than the original two did. i'm also hugely hopeful that they made fleury's #14 at the same time, and have begun plans for a retirement ceremony...

as far as the actual GAME went, well the boys looked to be working really hard and simply getting shut down by a trappy opponent and a very hot goaltender. jokinen scored a goal and was awarded the evening's second star, but was hardly a differencemaker in my opinion (even though i'd predicted otherwise). dion looked downright awful (again) and kipper didn't have the greatest game of alltime, either.... a lot of things headed in the right direction, though, like puck possession: with that many shots on goal, 9 times out of 10 the flames will win a game like that....

onwards and upwards: a match against sparklepants and his wingies on halloween saturday.... expect that to be a scary one !


awildermode said...

i'm also hugely hopeful that they made fleury's #14 at the same time, and have begun plans for a retirement ceremony...

that would be awesome!

do they have to clear it with league/other team to schedule which game? when they do it, i hope they televise it...just in case i cannot make it up there personally to see it.

walkinvisible said...

um... i have NO idea how jersey retirement ceremony plans work....

Mike H. said...

Great catch on the banners. I would hope they'd announce any plans to retire the jersey well in advance.

Saw a photo of Dion and the qi vampire in the online paper today:

Dion and Elisha

Guess that means they're still an item, and hopefully we can expect some sparks at the Rangers game next week.

duncan said...

Nice cross charm there, Dion. Why do you have to be such a douche?

On the banners: Like I said, it's kind of an improvement, due to "consistency", but not really, because:

a) The McDonald original was better, and they should have just stuck with that template
b) The typeface on the nameplate was never the actual typeface on the jersey, but appears to be a de-italicized version of the current one
c) The "30" and "9" appear to be mismatched and/or incorrectly scaled

Also, if they decided on uniformity for the retired numbers, why not the championship banners as well? Those guys just can't get this stuff right. Congrats on another great team-identity screwup, Kenster.