Tonight should have been a night to remember with a daily reminder hanging above the Saddledome’s ice of the importance of the pregame ceremony, but it seems that will not be happening. The Calgary Flames seem to be playing keep away when it comes to retiring Al MacInnis’s number. This does not make sense and honestly completely disrespectful to a player of MacInnis’s caliber.
Flames have one Stanley Cup. One. They’ve recently passed their 30th season and have deemed only two players worthy of the rafters. I’m sorry Flames, but it’s not as if you have an abundance of All Stars. Your rafters won’t be filled any time soon. Retiring Lanny McDonald and Mike Vernon’s numbers set a precedent. Flames have a standard for retirement now, MacInnis more than met these standards.
And yet, I sit on my couch and watch MacInnis be honored in their new program “Forever A Flame”. What a cop out! During the ceremony they announced: “One of the greatest Flames to ever play the game”. I’m sorry if that doesn’t qualify you for a sweater in the rafter, what does? I’m sorry but if you’re telling me Vernon has “it” but MacInnis doesn’t? You’re not watching the same highlight reels I am.
As I’ve discussed on Twitter with my followers, “Forever A Flame” is a great program for solid players with heart, fan favorites that have a compelling story. “Forever A Flame” is not a way to avoid showing honor to guys who are a notch above the rest, it’s away to show appreciation to those other guys.
St. Louis Blues have #2 hanging from their rafters, Flames should too. And any future Flames player is going to be smart and pass on wearing #2. Everyone knows the significance of that number in Calgary, no one would besmirch that number, just retire it!
Go Flames Go!