SUN Hockey Pool

Bad weather's snow problem

RANDY SPORTAK, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

DENVER -- Snowbound an extra day in Denver is no big deal to Tony Amonte.

It beats the last time the Calgary Flames forward had an NHL game postponed.

Back in his early days with the Rangers, Amonte and his New York teammates had made it to downtown's Madison Square Garden in anticipation of that night's clash.

A snowstorm that snarled NYC -- picture that kind of chaos -- postponed the game but that wasn't the worst part, he recalled.

"They waited until about 5 o'clock (to cancel the game) ... but we had a game the next night," he said.

"So after they cancelled it, we got on a bus.

"It took about three hours to get out of Manhattan and drive the rest of the way to Montreal. It was the only way we could get there for a game the next night.

"We got there three or four in the morning."

The blizzard that gripped Colorado may have resulted in the first Calgary Flames game to be postponed last night but it's not the first time for several players.

Just last year, goaltender Jamie McLennan and the Florida Panthers had a pair of games delayed due to Hurricane Wilma.

With the storm coming, the Panthers were evacuated en masse but returned to the Miami area expecting to play.

Instead, some players returned to find their homes in shambles.

"It was bad," McLennan recalled.

"At our practice rink, the roof blew off.

"A lot of guys didn't have power at their places but I had power and satellite TV, so a lot of guys holed up at my house. I'd stocked up on beer, water, bread.

"We were OK."

This is the second time Miikka Kiprusoff has had a game in Denver postponed.

The other was in 2003, as a member of the San Jose Sharks. It's a storm Alex Tanguay, who played for the Avalanche at the time, remembers well.

"Literally, I had four feet of snow on the deck of my house in a day," he said.

"People with trucks were pulling people, like they were wakeboarding in the snow."

McLennan had another game nearly postponed back in his New York Islanders days.

That night, a wicked snowstorm caused chaos on Long Island but both teams and the referees made it, so they dropped the puck before a sparse crowd, even by Islanders' standards.

"I know they announced the crowd at one number but there were only a few hundred people who showed up," McLennan recalled.

"People cross-country skied to the game.

"You could see people in the stands with their skis in the seat next to them."


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