So the Calgary Flames will honour Al MacInnis by hanging
his jersey a banner in the rafters at the Saddledome. He’ll be the first player honoured under the new “Forever A Flame” program, which will see the sweater numbers of former Flames kept in circulation with the current team. Not retired, honoured.
Why not retire his jersey? Is it because we have such a historic franchise of all-stars that we are running out of numbers? This team has been around for over 30 years and we have two: Vernon’s #30 and Lanny’s #9. Why not do what the Canadiens do and retire the number for a set period of time? Maybe keep the number retired for as long as that player is alive, and it goes back to the franchise upon that players death. So they’d be retired for 40 years or so. And in special circumstances a new player could ask the retired player if he could wear that number. Like if Marty Brodeur were to be traded to the Flames. And he probably will be, a la Grant Fuhr.
Who do you think is going to wear #2 after this anyway? They’d have to be a real jerk. Come to think of it, who has worn #2 for the Flames since MacInnis left? Are we really denying anyone anything? Jamie Allison, Mike Commodore, Alan Letang (who?), Darrel Scoville (again, who?), Darryl Shannon, and Brad Werenka. All due respect to that group of no-names, but denying them the privilege of wearing #2 would have gone unnoticed.
Al MacInnis was a first-round pick of the Flames in 1981, he would go on to be named an all-star eight times in 13 seasons with the team. He also took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP when the Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989. MacInnis continues to hold the franchise record for assists with 609. His number was retired by the St. Louis Blues in 2006 (he was a Flame for longer) and a year later he was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Calgary isn’t going to retire his number? Just. Plain. Stupid. Shame on you Calgary Flames brass.