Lightning trio boosts Alberta beef total

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 4:21 PM ET


 TAMPA -- If you're beginning to think Jarome Iginla, Andrew Ference and Mike Commodore are beginning to have a higher profile in Edmonton than most of the Oilers, make way for three more.

 Darryl Sydor, Chris Dingman and Nolan Pratt want to get in on the "Heartland Of Hockey" thing happening with the Calgary Flames in the Stanley Cup final, too.

 "My hair is almost as bad as Commodore's," said Dingman. "I don't have the curls, but ..."

 Dingman, who returns to live in hometown Edmonton every off-season, says he can't believe what he hears is happening, with fans in his hometown cheering for the Flames.

 "It's a little weird, to be honest with you. My mom and dad tell me that (having) Flames flags on cars in Edmonton has now caught on," he said.

 Rob and Darlene Dingman and fiance Chelsea Herchuk are reporting from home.

 "My dad works on Whyte Avenue and he says they're going crazy for the Flames there."

 FORMER FLAMES

 Dingman, like Martin St. Louis and Cory Stillman, is a former Flame.

 "It was a big joke coming from Edmonton and getting drafted by Calgary," he remembers.

 Dingman was traded to Colorado in the Theo Fleury deal before moving to Carolina prior to becoming a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

 Dingman won a Stanley Cup in Colorado in 2001. Pratt was on that team, too, but didn't play. Sydor won a Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999.

 Pratt, originally from Fort McMurray, says his parents John and Albina, who now live in Redwater, and brothers Jason and Harlan will be at all the games in Calgary, but it's one of his best friends, Craig McConaught, who has been giving him most of his reports from Cowtown.

 "I grew up playing minor hockey with Craig in Sherwood Park and he says it's absolutely crazy there."

 NONE FROM CALGARY

 Sydor, who played the Oilers in the playoffs every year as a Dallas Star, says what he hears from home just doesn't compute.

 "I never thought anything like that could ever happen, not growing up in Edmonton in the '80s," he said.

 "I guess it's like that all over Canada now. It's going to be great to experience it.

 "And to get some good beef."

 There are nine Alberta players on the rosters of the two teams. None are from Calgary.

 Steven Reinprecht of Edmonton and former Oiler Dean McAmmond of Grande Cache are both on the Flames' injured list, while Martin Sonnenberg of Wetaskiwin is one of the black aces.


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