It was a shot that rebounded from a podium, past Calgary Flames goalkeeper Mike Vernon, that ended the 1991 dream.
It was of course impossible to know that it would end this way. A little over a month ago, on March 4, 1991, Vernon was in the center of Montreal Canadiens goalkeeper Patrick Roy.
That same night, the still relatively unknown grunge trio known as Nirvana (possibly less than labeled only as “from Seattle”) will make its Calgary premiere at the Westward Club, months before its release. smells like teen spirit And reach stardom.
At the time, Katherine Ford was a columnist for the Calgary HeraldAnd She tries to quit her smoking habit and thus falls into serious nicotine withdrawals.
“Let me describe it that way,” Ford said. “Not that I remember a lot of the ’90s, but 1991 was a particularly successful year.”
Effective—productive and constructive—not only because Ford will eventually continue to phase out its cigarettes, but also because it is beginning to see signs of a city in transition.
I watched a city become more culturally diverse, a city that experienced booms (and busts) and transformations downtown, a city that saw its homogeneous political scene gradually begin to evolve into something more complex.
However, headlines from the Calgary Herald from that year show that while some things are changing, others look familiar for Calgary today.
Take Ald. Barb Scott’s efforts in the January 21, 1991 issue to convert vacant buildings in downtown Calgary into housing in order to serve the city’s needy.
Or a story from the February 1 issue, which reported price hikes at the pump due to the ongoing conflict in the Persian Gulf.
In June 1991, Aldwyer was mayor of the city, championing Calgary’s “fat cat” image, and worried about the specter of federal cuts.
Watch | Legendary Calgary goalkeeper Mike Vernon at the Battle of Alberta
The city has seen layoffs of more than 4,300 Calgary residents in the past six months, with Novatel, Canada Packers and other energy companies among those laid off positions.
However, Calgary’s unemployment rate was well below the national average. It has acquired hundreds of new residents after moving TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. to the city.
The concern, in Doyer’s eyes, was the federal government looking to Calgary for cuts based on its “resilient spirit,” recovering even though the heyday of the oil boom in the late 1970s seemed to be only in the rear-view mirror.
Today, Doerr sees many parallels between that time period and Calgary today—and where the Battle of Alberta fits in.
“In 1991 we were struggling. We are struggling now and we are coming out of a very difficult period,” Dorr said. “The Battle of Alberta gave us that opportunity to refocus.”
This was the context in which two Alberta hockey teams were scheduled to clash in the first round, and both organizations had recently won the championship: the Calgary Flames in 1989, and the Edmonton Oilers the following year.
Doug Dirks, former CBC host Homestretchwas in Calgary in 1991 presenting a nationally syndicated daily radio program called Faceoff circle.
said Dirks, who became a full-time sports broadcaster and reporter for CBC in 1993.
The day before the disc was dropped for Game 7 in Calgary at what was then called the Olympic Saddledome, 2,100 tickets were sold out in the morning, and sold out within 50 minutes.
That battle of Alberta went a full seven matches and ended with a heartbreak for the Flames faithful thanks to Esa Tikkanen’s wand. He netted three times, sealing his extra goal in the Oil Country Series, from four games to three.
The Calgary Herald wrote: “There is no way to mitigate a 5-4 flame loss. They suffocated, plain and simple.” Sports writer Eric Duhacek in Anatomy.
Four days later, at 3 p.m., Ford put out her last cigarette. The Flames would go on to experience a watershed drought, not winning another series until 2004.
In the west
Although fans got home that night, Calgary’s future at the time looked bright in other respects, especially if you weren’t a member of the Flames.
For non-athletes like Arif Ansari, who was probably at the Westward Club or Republik Nightclub the night the team got the boot, 1991 was a time when the alternative music scene began to blossom, when there was excitement in the air.
Some nights of the ’90s reached mythical status for Ansari, as when American heavy metal band GWAR played at Westward Club and fans themselves witnessed the band’s style of spraying fake blood on the whole audience.
“There are wonderful stories of people who came home after that show, covered in all this fake blood, walking like a mob of zombies down 17th Avenue,” said Ansari, who runs the Calgary Cassette Preservation Society and is a local music archivist.
Culturally some at the time believed Calgary could become the next Seattle, said Mike Bell, publisher of Calgary’s monthly arts and culture magazine The Scene.
“There was enthusiasm about music and the arts,” Bell said.
“People were spending money, people were going to the theater. People wanted to go out, and the artists here didn’t feel they had to leave. Things were really happening in Calgary.”
Tonight, The Flames and the Oilers will meet again in the renewed Battle of Alberta. In place of Theorin Fleury and Tekkanen, young stars Johnny Goudreau and Conor McDavid will headline this year’s match.
Since the 1991 game, Calgary has moved from Duerr, to Dave Bronconnier, to Naheed Nenshi, to Jyoti Gondek.
It has gone from the oil boom, to the oil depression, to the oil boom again, although this time with increasing urgency about what comes next – for both the economy and the climate.
It’s now home to more than 1.3 million residents, up from 750,000 in 1991 (not to mention bedroom communities like Chestermere, Alta., which has grown to more than 20,000, compared to 900 in 1991).
Ford, who has written thousands of columns about Calgary and Alberta, said she will continue to defend where she calls her home, no matter what comes next, even if talking about what makes it home can sound cliched — the big, wide blue sky. , mountains, and unpredictable weather that keeps residents on their toes.
“It’s all those intangibles that make you love something. It’s like asking me why I love my husband. Do I love him because he’s tall, handsome, and good-looking?” She said.
“No, none of those things. I love him because of who he is. I love this city for what it is, and what it represents to all of us.”
Game 1 of Round Two of the 2022 Stanley Cup Qualifiers between Flames and Oilers kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.