Flames' Stajan: Players want new rink, 'what Edmonton has'

by
Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports

Alberta's hockey rivalry is filtering off the ice.

On the day of the Calgary Flames' annual golf tournament, team president Ken King announced they are no longer pursuing a new arena to replace the 36-year-old Saddledome.

For the players, the news came as a surprise, and sparked a touch of arena envy after playing a few games up in Edmonton's brand new rink last season.

"The hope for the players and being part of the city, you want a new rink and what Edmonton has," Matt Stajan said Tuesday, per Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun. "It's a little bit of a shock, and it's disappointing, but hopefully, we'll end up getting what we all want."

The Flames, of course, want a building that lives up to 2017 standards, while the city of Calgary is reticent to help them out with the use of public funds.

Defenseman Michael Stone is well versed in this scenario, having previously played with the perennially unstable Arizona Coyotes. That the Flames are a core part of Calgary's identity should help resolve the matter, he believes, and shouldn't keep players from wanting to join the team in the future.

"I just experienced this in Arizona - I can't imagine the uncertainty affecting this market as much as it does down there in terms of getting players to come, but down there it was a problem for some guys," said Stone.

"I guess it's kind of shocking and disappointing, not just for us but for everybody in the city that wants this to happen. It's disappointing for everybody who sees what other cites are getting. I think everybody still has hope something is going to get done."

Edmonton's Rogers Place, it should be noted, was not built without the benefit of public funds, help that was approved after Oilers owner Daryl Katz floated the possibility of the team relocating to Seattle.