Flames won't raise ticket prices
ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency
The Calgary Flames have quietly gone about informing season-ticket holders their ducats will not go up in price next year.
Prices for tickets across the board were frozen for next year, as were this year’s playoff offerings.
Flames president Ken King pointed out the club didn’t have to do that, nor was it a result of the team’s challenges this year. The club just figured it was the right thing to do.
“We felt there was room to move (prices) upwards but decided it was a good opportunity to keep the prices at this year’s level,” confirmed King.
Unfortunately, several of the glossy season-ticket renewal packages sent to season-ticket holders were stapled upside down, which is almost fitting given the team’s season was turned upside down by Christmas.
Now for more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a Flames club that deserves endless credit for its character and heart the last three months.
Around the boards
The desire is there for the Flames to get Daymond Langkow playing time before the season is over to help him prepare mentally for next year. But because they can’t expect him to be effective in his first game in over a year, it won’t happen as long as the Flames remain in the playoff race. If the Flames are knocked from playoff contention, GM Jay Feaster will endeavour to reduce his payroll (bye-bye Ales Kotalik) to fit Langkow into the lineup … Unsure if there’s a more misleading stat than man-games lost. The Flames currently rank fifth in the league with 318 man-games lost, thanks largely to lengthy ailments to Langkow, Raitis Ivanans, Ryan Stone and Kotalik. Reality is, the Flames were unscathed by injuries all year until David Moss and Brendan Morrison both went down. Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks have been so battered all year they were forced to use the 13th-ranked defenceman on their depth chart. Yet, the Canucks sit behind the Flames (seventh) in man games lost with 306 … Anyone else starting to believe me now when I say Curtis Glencross is in line to at least triple his US$1.2 million salary on the open market? Doing wonders to address concerns over the inconsistency that has dogged him throughout his career, the 28-year-old winger is now a legitimate second-liner whose 23 goals prove he can snipe while also adding toughness and an ability to kill penalties. Heck, now he’s even taking faceoffs for the first time since he played centre as a teen. If there was ever any doubt he’s played his way out of Calgary it was erased when Langkow and his $4.5 million cap hit got clearance to return.
While it might seem to be a no-brainer for the Flames to bring back Morrison, Langkow’s return next year not only eats up a huge amount of cap space but a top-three centre spot with Olli Jokinen and Matt Stajan, who combine for $6.5 million in cap room. While Morrison can play the wing, he’ll most certainly be asking for more money than the $725,000 he made this year as a training camp pickup. Concerns over his knee, which will almost certainly require surgery, complicate matters for a 35-year-old player who would like nothing more than to stop a trend that has seen him play for four teams the last four years … The uncalled high-stick Alex Tanguay took in the face in overtime Saturday courtesy of Ryan O’Marra is exactly the type of play Colin Campbell and the lads in the NHL’s video room would like to have jurisdiction over. The Hockey Operations department suggested as much at the recent GM meetings, hoping to be able to review and rule on four-minute high-sticking infractions that draw blood. The hope is that non-calls like the one that left Tanguay and the Flames infuriated in a critical game will never be missed ... Surprising stat: The list of the NHL’s 20 best-selling jerseys this year does not include Jarome Iginla or any player from a Canadian-based team.
Eric Francis appears regularly as a panellist on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada