Slow clap for the Flames Organization

Just when this item seems to be getting a little old, more and more information is coming to light about the fateful decision to jump the Calgary Flames and their families to the front of the H1N1 vaccination line up. During a time when thousands of hard-working non-hockey-playing Albertans are waiting in line ups so long that many are expiring of natural causes before they reach the front of the line, the Flames flexed their collective clout and had a special vaccination clinic set up for the private use of the Team and their families.

This story broke earlier in the week when it was brought to our collective attention that the Calgary Flames had jedi mind tricked someone senior at Alberta Health Services into setting up a private clinic to administer flu vaccines to the Flames players, staff and families. This inspired many levels of rage amongst a good many people, who believed that Pro Athletes should be left to die at the hands of H1N1 infected zombie hordes that will be terrorizing major Canadian cities within days.

Once this initial story had made the rounds like a Californian Wildfire, more news comes today that the Flames have defended themselves publicly with one arm and with the other quietly went about having their AHL farm team skipped to the front of the line too.

“Tuesday evening, with the great Flames Flu Scandal still raging, members of the Calgary Flames farm club were quietly inoculated against H1N1 by their team physician.

This, despite the fact that British Columbia has been strictly rationing its flu vaccine from the outset. According to the B.C. health department, only pregnant women, children under five, those with serious chronic health conditions, and caregivers of infants under six months, are currently entitled to receive the vaccine.

Perry Kendall, B.C.’s chief health officer, says doctors in private practice can requisition vaccine for their patients, but only on the understanding that it be reserved for those high-risk cases. Nonetheless, the Heat’s team doctor officially diagnosed most of the players as "high-risk" and vaccinated them accordingly.”

Oh man, is this ever rich.

If we actually believed that the swine flu was a threat to 99% of the population we might be more concerned about this. But instead we can totally see how this was a good idea for the medical staffers involved and the heretofore community oriented Calgary Flames.

Not only do NHL hockey players have a greater need to ward off disease than say – oh a 94 year old woman with chronic bronchitis – we can also see how protecting the Calgary Flames of tomorrow should be jobs number 1 and 2 respectively. If this wasn’t insulting enough to the father of four, wearing his Flames hat a little less proudly as he waits in a 6 hour line to have his toddlers immunized today, he can rest easy knowing that the families of both the NHL and AHL teams have been vaccinated as well.


Well, who would want to live with the knowledge that Mrs. Robyn Regehr contracted the H1N1 virus whilst shopping for purses at Holt Renfrew? Would you want that hanging over your head? Would ya? Huh? What if Cory Sarich’s aunt’s cousin’s babysitter were to get sick too? How would that impact the penalty killing unit? Where do you want to draw the line for who to save and who to let go?

Never mind that most of the hockey wives we have met rarely, if ever, leave the confines of their rented Canadian apartment to do anything that interacts with the swarms of “non players and player families” that infest every inch of the city that they have to live in 6 months of the year. These disease ridden germ bags will totally cough on you as you wait in line for your daily Starbucks. Ew!

Look at this picture of people waiting in line for flu shots today:

Babies. Babies, their parents and more babies. How can a baby be expected to post a .600 record on the road? Will a 3 year old score you 20 goals and suck up 15 quality minutes of ice time on any given night? Not on your life brother. No, given the choice between saving the Flames and saving non-hockey playing children and the elderly, what is being called "the biggest black eye in franchise history" has been a great idea.

The other thing that is sad about this business

In addition to the firestorm outlined above, comes news that the Health Authoritados have found the person in charge of this fateful decision and have promptly fired his ass. Think that the players are calling that guy to send their sincere apologies? Yeah, we can totally see the Flames – or even better their families- banding together to assist the long serving civil servant who made the fateful decision to help his local hockey squadron. This poor bastard has just seen a 20 year career in Medical Administration go right out the window to give preferential treatment to a group of people that probably won’t even give it a second thought.

Man, do we ever hate the Flames.

  • Poo Czar

    Ok, the Oil are owned by a King Pimp Pharmacy Magnate, the team has been ravaged by flu, including H1N1, and even those circumstances didn't lead to vaccination line jumping. The Flames have no legs on this one. And it brings me joy to rub it in the faces of Flames fans.

    Seriously, how can anyone defend this? INDEFENSIBLE!!!

  • Like Logan said, I think it's awesome that the Flames are treating this like they did nothing wrong, they were just protecting themselves and their families from this awful thing that, according to the media, has a 200% fatality rate and will undoubtedly wipe out the entire human race.
    Wait, what? A handful of players in the league have had actual H1N1, missed a couple games but are more or less back at 100 percent now? Well thank god the Flames have protected themselves. Lord knows if Corey Sarich or Daymond Langkow missed 2 or 3 games the Flames franchise would be on a one way train to Hamilton.

    I think it would have been ironically hilarious if a quarter of the team or more had adverse reactions to the vaccines and got even sicker than if they had contracted the super flu before the shot. A boy can dream can't he?

  • Bar Qu

    Yeah its unfortunate someone got fired, but think about it. If you make a decision to cut someone into line, and you know that its a bad thing, then don't do it! The guy screwed up and now has to work in the real world where people get fired all the time – like for reading blogs at work instead of working. Ummm

  • You said it Logan. If even one of those D-Bags said they're sorry, they were worried about their kids, etc, people would be cooler with it.

    Why? Because most people are REASONABLE. Is it reasonable to get vaccinated before kids, the elderly, women, etc? No.

    Turns out H1N1 is good for your +/- anyway. Just ask Smid.

  • Hemmertime

    This is another reason why someone from the Flames should be held accountable. They denied ever being in the wrong and some AHS worker got axed for supplying them with the shots, yet no one gets fired from the Flames for asking for the shot? And then they go and get the shot for their farm team after the fact? What a joke. Whats next the Hitmen get the shot as well? I hope no one suffers, dies or gets seriously ill in ALberta or BC because of this. I hope someone in the Flames organization gets held accountable for inquiring/requesting the shots for their teams. Ken King your a joke, its all fun and games that you can sit there and tell the media that you would hire the person who got fired from AHS for supplying your organization with the shots. Conspiracy???

    • I am only assuming, but Harley Hotchkiss was the Chairman of the board for Foothills Hospital Board in Calgary. You would think MAYBE he has some contacts in healthcare that might owe him a favor?

      Tough to fire an owner…

      • Librarian Mike

        I suspect (and I have no proof, but I'm probably right) this whole thing started on a golf course or racquetball court between Ken King and some Health bigwig:

        'Hey. Can you hook my guys up?' etc. etc.

  • Hemmertime

    What really annoys me is how instead of just saying "You know what… it was wrong of us to do that. We are very sorry and apoligize for our actions" the whole Flames organization from management to players to trainers just acts like they're a bunch of freaking saints and just deflect blame via an assortment of lame excuses. Ironicly though, none of them use the excuse of "I was concerned for my children, I have 3 below the age of 5 and they have Asthma and I just didnt want to risk bringing it home and having it affect them", which at least the general public could understand and let slide.

    But I guess thats typical Calgary attitude for you.

    • Librarian Mike

      The thing about all of this that gets me is that, even assuming they didn't know about a shortage (and I'm not sure even hockey players are that thick), the fact that they were given a private clinic for them and their families just smacks of entitlement. None of these guys thought getting to go to a private clinic while people stood in line was unusual?

      I really hope this story doesn't just go away. While I understand that there are perks for being rich and famous and all that, this is a life-or-death situation.

  • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

    This is the first statement you've made that I can get on board with.

    Last week in Manitoba the government was not screening to ensure that the low-risk categories were being turned away. Due to local media coverage touting the H1N1 as the next big people killer people panicked and started to line up. The clinics that were set up saw up to 5x the expected turnout for vaccinations and let them all through. Now faced with a looming shortage, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has started issuing statements that they have now begun screening and low-risk people are being turned away at the vaccination clinics.

    I'm not sure if this is how things were handled last week in Alberta, but if it was our Manitoba Moose who skipped the line last week, it wouldn't have bothered me at all because anyone could have received it. If they skipped the line today, it would be a different story because they're receiving the shot while people are being turned away entirely.

    As far as the story today goes, probably not a classy move this week to vaccinate the farm team while they're trying to distance themselves from last week's debacle.