Hint of red in that teal

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:45 AM ET

 SAN JOSE -- Remember what you were doing May 25, 1989?

 That was when the Calgary Flames laid claim to the Stanley Cup by defeating the Montreal Canadiens in a Game 6 that set off celebrations across the Stampede City.

  And beyond.

 One such party was held at Brad Stuart's home in Rocky Mountain House, albeit belatedly.

 "I was playing a baseball game and couldn't watch the game," admitted the Sharks defenceman.

 "I had to hear they'd won. I was kinda disappointed I didn't get to see it."

 Stuart, who was nine years old at the time, was an ardent Flames supporter while growing up.

 He collected the cards. He followed the fortunes. He had the dreams.

 "I was a pretty big fan. My dad was a fan, so I was, too," he said. "Al MacInnis was my favourite. I remember I had this shirt with Joe Nieuwendyk, Al MacInnis and Mike Vernon on it -- cartoon drawings."

 Curiously, Stuart has played more NHL games in the Saddledome than he's watched.

 In fact, he said he never went to a single Flames game as a fan.

 "I watched them on TV and listened to the radio a lot," he said. "Before going to bed, I'd listen to the games and fall asleep picturing what was going on."

 Naturally, he's heard about the festivities set off when Flames play-by-play man and Sun columnist Peter Maher called Martin Gelinas' series-clinching goal on Monday.

 "It's going to be fun to see the fans excited like they are," said Stuart. "Like I've heard they are."

 Meeting the Flames in the Western Conference final will mean a few homecomings of sorts for Stuart.

 For starters, he'll face Darryl Sutter, the man who coached him through his first few seasons.

 "He was tough on me," said Stuart, who played three and a half seasons under the current Flames GM/head coach.

 "He was really tough but I always knew why he was that way to me.

 "I respect him and I like Darryl because I know he cared about me becoming the player he thought I could be."

 Plus, it'll mean playing before a few familiar faces, not only because he's from so close to Calgary but also won a WHL championship with the Hitmen before making the jump to the pro ranks.

 "I've kinda gotten over that," said the rearguard who's collected a goal and four assists in these playoffs.

 "It's good that I'll have family and friends come to watch. But the novelty of it all has worn off."


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