Kukla's Korner

All Things Flaming C

Chopper Gets High Praise

The Flames Family is an elite group. From Eric Vail to Kent Nilsson, Lanny McDonald alongside Al MacInnis, to Theo Fleury and Jarome Iginla. The years roll by like a fat kid crushing a cartwheel. #2 is getting a pseudo-jersey-retirement February 27 as they raise his number in the new “Forever a Flame”  honoring system. One may ask “Why not an outright jersey retirement?” The St. Louis Blues have given him such respect! Some speculate that Sir Kenneth King wants it this way, and so it shall be done. Regardless, “Chopper” is being celebrated for his illustrious tenure in the pre-Flaming Horse threads. His slapshot is legendary, his Nova Scotian roots made him unique. In 1416 NHL games he earned 1274 points, 3rd all-time in defensemen points, including 103 in 1990-91.. Let’s not forget the 1501 PIMs. What a rugged stud. His greatest achievement, IMO, was his Conn Smythe Trophy for The City of Champions in their 1989 Stanley Cup triumph. (Clears throat.) I like to include CFL, NLL, Spruce Meadows, and CIAU titles into this moniker. The shoe clearly fits. While he moved along in 1994 to St. Louis for 10 more solid seasons, he earned his legendary status as a Calgary Flame and when he reached the zenith of hockey, the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, he entered with pride. And yes, he was inducted into that other Hall of Fame in 2007. Al MacInnis deserves his number alongside Lanny’s in the rafters, and I dare say no one shall don it, in Flame’s fatigues ever again.



While the playoff picture is as murky as a Mexican bathtub (second rate water treatment), the Flames have rolled out a 6-2-2 stretch and gave the Maple Leafs a 5-1 beatdown. Jonas Gustavson was left to fend for himself and Prime Time Dion Phaneuf showed naysayers that Calgary may have won that abysmal trade in 2010. Scouts from Toronto were in town looking at Matt Stajan as evidence. Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay had some more magic last night with a pair of 1st period tallies. Wee Paul Byron electrified this great nation with a penalty shot snipe. The rest was just window dressing. The dense Leaf faithful left as they came, a sad participant in hockey’s longstanding joke. While Leaf fans are knowledgeable and proud, their choice of pariahs leave much to be desired. Surely I jest, 1967 was an incredible culmination of hockey supremacy!

As we look at the standings, the brotherhood of excellence sits a point out of 8th and three out of 6th. As the league never ceases to impress with its parity, our Flames look to appease their faithful with a playoff berth. Of course an 8 game losing streak isn’t out of the question. Craig Hartsburg’s defensive charges surely won’t allow such a demise. Dallas had a hot start to the season. Dallas now sits in 11th. Apparently championships aren’t won in the 1st month. The Flames ol’ pals Adam Pardy and Eric Nystrom will have them over for some iced tea after the Flames victory and they’ll talk of the good old days at The Whiskey in downtown C-Town. 25 games remain in the Flames regular season and each game is huge, like newly signed Heat member Hugh Jessiman. Is this 6’6” former 1st rounder J-Feast’s newest reclamation project or just a hole filler in Abbotsford. No pun intended…. I digress. After the Flames win 2 of every 3 games, they may sneak into the top 16. A hot streak, some returning soldiers from the sick room, and maybe a couple smart trade deadline deals, and Canada’s team is in business. I refuse to speculate on trades, we’ll leave that to “blogger’s in their underwear in their basement”- classic J-|Feast zinger. Most don’t realize Jay was a stand up comedian to suppliment his education at Susquehanna University. Funny, athletic, and brilliant hockey sense. A trifecta at the helm of a surging band of brothers. A GM loved by the best fans in the NHL; a job every nerdy lawyer would kill for. Get ahold of me if you need some trade advise….they are all over Twitter.

Loving the Feastmeister,

Scooter Bourgeios


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The years roll by like a fat kid crushing a cartwheel.

Slowly and with a lot of grunting, sweat and crying?

Posted by Garth on 02/16/12 at 12:07 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

Ahhh, the names take me back to a simpler time in hockey….Vail, Nilsson, Bourgeios…those were the days!  No better rivalry than the Flames and Oilers in the 80’s.

Posted by wolverine on 02/16/12 at 12:43 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Slowly and with a lot of grunting, sweat and crying?

Posted by Garth on 02/16/12 at 09:07 AM ET

Hahahaha, nicely done Garth.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/16/12 at 01:51 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

those were the days!

Cannot be said enough.  MacInnis had such a great shot that he tended to live in its shadow.  He was also one of the best all-round Dmen of his era.  He and Suter dominated games in a way that makes Seabrook and Keith pale.  In a way that makes Rafalski and Lidstrom pale.  There, I said it - flame me up boys.
(no literally…..utter domination).

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 02/16/12 at 03:00 PM ET

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