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Lanny Back In Flame Fold

D'Arcy McGrath

December 12th, 2001


Salt and pepper, beer and pretzels and Brian Murray and creative rhetoric ... they all just seem to go together.

The same can be said for Lanny King McDonald and the Calgary Flames.


Just as the departure of the Flames all time signature player drove the final nail in a run of public relations gaffs that almost landed the squad in Portland .. his return adds a cherry to the sundae of a public relations boon that has the team perched high in the standings, and at the front of Calgarian's minds because of some "interesting" hockey games of late.


Introducing ... Lanny McDonald, Executive Advisor to Hockey Operations.


"People are associated with institutions", said the recently appointed President of the Calgary Flames, Ken King.


"These institutions aren't whole if these people are not part of the institution. Today we welcome back a very important person to the Calgary Flames".


It's fitting that Ken King took the microphone to open the press conference, as the hiring of King was likely the turning point in getting McDonald back into the Flames fold.


One of the NHL's worst kept secrets would encircle the disagreement or disparity in philosophy between McDonald and the former Flame President Ron Bremner.


With King at the helm, it was only natural to see Lanny King McDonald find his way back to the organization that he called home for twenty years.


"Ken approached me in September" said McDonald after the press conference broke into more informal media scrums, "we sat down to breakfast. In the last few weeks things have heated up".


When pressed for details as to why he left the organization in the first place, McDonald was careful to choose his words very wisely.


While he was reluctant to hang the fiasco on Bremner, the fact that he quickly moved to compliment King at every turn spoke volumes.


"Sometimes a change is needed", said the Flames former captain, "it will be nice to have the opportunity to work with people like Ken King and Craig Button".


For his part Craig Button was all smiles in welcoming the the seasoned hockey man back into the fold.


"Lanny McDonald was a Hockey Hall of Famer as a hockey player. That's significant. As a person Lanny McDonald is also a Hall of Famer, and that is even more significant. If you could see behind this podium you would see that I am jumping up and down", joked the Flames general manager.


The role that Lanny McDonald will play in the coming months will likely be worked out over time, but it was stated that Lanny will have a role in the hockey side of the business.


"I will help out wherever Craig needs me", offered McDonald, "it's my job to help get this team not only into the playoffs this year, but to make sure it stays here for a very long time".


And like most Calgarians, McDonald couldn't resist offering his two cents about the headline catching brawl at the Saddledome on Saturday night.


"The team is playing exceptionally well, Saturday was, well ... old time hockey, a bit of a dust up, but after all it is Cow Town".

Clearly Cow Town is happy to have it's favourite son back where he belongs, with their hockey team.





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