SUN Hockey Pool

Where are they now?

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

Sensing the chance to witness history, Eric Vail had to make the trip.

Having never severed his ties to the Stampede City, Vail felt compelled to venture from his home in Atlanta in the spring of 2004 in the hopes of watching his old team hoist the Stanley Cup in Game 6.

"We still have the photos on the refrigerator," he said of his trip. "We have a lot of people from Florida at the club so I let them have it when Calgary won Game 5. I put up a sign at the club, 'Will work for air miles' and one of the members called me to let me know they had the miles for Jen and me if we had a place to stay and tickets. That's the kind of people at the place I work at."

Vail -- part of the Flames organization from the 1973-74 campaign until early in 1981-82 and ninth on the franchise's all time scoring list with 452 points -- is now manager of outside services at the Country Club of Roswell in suburban Atlanta.

"Just enjoying life around the golf course. Not getting rich but enjoying life," quipped the man known to all as Train.

He remains in close contact with fellow former Flames in the area, among them Tim Ecclestone, Willi Plett, Tom Lysiak, Ken Houston and Dan Bouchard.

They gather regularly, even holding a charity golf tourney for minor hockey in the city.

Vail and his wife also regularly travel to Calgary and Canmore for vacations and the alumni golf tournament. However, home remains in Georgia.

"Coming from Timmins, Ont., I feel in love with it here," he said.


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