Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/4/2015 (2368 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
What are those lousy Calgary Flames up to now?
At least, that might be the reaction of some diehard Winnipeg Jets fans upon seeing an ad in Saturday’s Free Press congratulating their Western Conference rivals, who were dispatched from the NHL playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
"CHEERS TO THE #WINNIPEG WHITE OUT! That was impressive, and we know a little thing about impressive crowds," the ad reads.
The ad includes an image of a Canadian flag matted over a photo of Jets fans in a sea of white jerseys.
"To Mark Chipman, True North Sports & Entertainment, Winnipeg Jets Coaches, Players and Fans....Congratulations on a great season. From your friends at the Calgary Flames."
Friends at the Calgary Flames?
Of course, the Flames have their own rabid tradition of a C of Red, along with the Red Mile, which has flourished since the mid-2000’s. Calgary is now leading the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in their best-of-seven series.
Reached on Friday, a Flames spokesman acknowledged that such public displays of gratitude between rival franchises are rare.
"In my nine years with the Flames, we’ve never done it before," said Flames Director of Communications Sean Kelso.
"To be honest with you it’s one Canadian team congratulating another Canadian team on a great year, and realizing what a good job they’ve done."
Wait. Isn’t this just a way to suck up to Jets fans to get them on the Flames playoff bandwagon?
"No," Kelso chuckled. "I don’t think there was any backhanded intention there. It was just respect."
For the record, the Jets don’t believe the Flames have ulterior motives, either.
"I don’t think there’s any attempt to woo Jets fans the Calgary Flames way," said Scott Brown, Director of Communications for True North. "We’ve got a good relationship with the Flames organization. (Calgary president and CEO) Ken King is very close with (Jets co-owner) Mark (Chipman). It’s not surprising they would do something like that.
"Very classy. And very appreciated."
However, Brown did acknowledge such a gesture might not have occurred in the heydays of the Flames-Jets rivalries of the mid-1980’s, when the likes of Calgary defenceman Jamie Macoun was breaking Dale Hawerchuk’s ribs to ruin Winnipeg’s Stanley Cup bid in 1985.
"Given the history, it might raise some eyebrows," Brown said, "but that was a long time ago."
Randy Turner spent much of his journalistic career on the road. A lot of roads. Dirt roads, snow-packed roads, U.S. interstates and foreign highways. In other words, he got a lot of kilometres on the odometer, if you know what we mean.