Simon schooled about Flaming C

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:08 PM ET


 Up until shortly after New Year's Day, Chris Simon didn't give the Calgary Flames much thought.

 Playing for the New York Rangers, Simon figured his lone dealing with the Flaming C would be limited to their Jan. 5 meeting at Madison Square Garden. Really, it was only a day or two before the game he even spent any grey matter thinking about the club with which he'd eventually skate.

 "When they were coming to New York, we only knew it was going to be a hard-working, young team," Simon recalled of his preparation for that game.

 "Any Sutter team -- I played for Brian in the past and knew Darryl through guys like Mike Ricci and Owen Nolan -- you know is going to work hard and the guys will buy into the system."

 After a 5-0 shellacking at MSG, Simon realized just how hard working the team was.

 "It was like a pack of wolves," he said. "We couldn't move because they were all flying, buzzing, hitting."

 Then came the news he'd been dealt to the Stampede City.

 Simon, knowing full well the Rangers' season was dead and he'd be dealt away along with so many other veterans, was ecstatic to be picked up by the Flames.

 His first game, the 7-1 thumping of Colorado on March 7, made him even more excited.

 "To come here and be a part of it was an honour. For them to think I could help them is an awesome feeling," he said.

 However, knowing they'd be a Cup contender took a while longer.

 A lot longer.

 "I can't tell you when I thought we'd be in this position," said Simon, who won a Cup with Colorado in 1996. "Did I hope we could be in this position? Yes.

 "Everybody in the room was the same."


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