Where are they now?

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:05 AM ET

When Tony Stiles retired from professional hockey, he had no clue what career path he would take.

After working a few odd jobs and applying for a variety of different vocations, the former Calgary Flames defenceman finally found his new niche.

Stiles became a police officer and discovered there were some striking similarities.

"It's very much like hockey. It's very close-knit with the people that you work with and you put the uniform on with," said Stiles, who played 30 games for the Flames during the 1983-84 season with greats such as Kent Nilsson, Hakan Loob, Lanny McDonald and Al MacInnis. "You rely on each other. I grew to know that more as I worked, the more years that I put in.

"Then, when I went into the tactical squad in Edmonton -- for three and a half years there -- it was even a tighter bunch because of the situations we were put into. You had to rely on those people around you and trust them with your life."

Hockey was never life and death but it certainly took a team effort to succeed.

"It's very much similar to hockey in that way. Very team-oriented and that's what I love so much about the job."

Stiles, a Carstairs product, considers himself lucky to have found a rewarding second stage in his professional life. He first patrolled the streets of Edmonton for a decade but made the move back to Calgary a little more than two years ago to be closer to his family.

"After I retired, I didn't really have any idea what I was going to do," said Stiles. "Then I managed to get on with the Edmonton City Police. Calgary wasn't hiring at the time. I had a great 10 years but the situation changed and I decided it was time to come back home.

"It's been a good move."

His NHL experience, though, provided some great memories Stiles won't soon forget.

"It was a great experience. Playing in (front of those) kind of crowds and those kind of arenas. The atmosphere is almost overwhelming at times. Playing in Chicago or Boston, Montreal Forum were definitely some of the high points."


Videos

Photos