Hockey family welcomes Calgary Flames addition
With the Calgary Flames' most recent acquisition, there is one hockey fan in Drumheller who will be cheering louder than most for their new goalie.
Chad Johnson signed a one-year contract with the Flames in free agency after a respectable season with the Buffalo Sabres posting a 2216-1 record with a 2.36 GAA. He is the son of Brenda Johnson, nee Laslo, and grandson of local resident Alice Laslo.
“That’s sure exciting, you bet,” Alice told The Mail. “This will be the first year since he graduated college from Alaska Fairbanks, that he will be playing in Canada.”
In fact, he will be playing in his hometown, where as a youngster he grew up seeing the jerseys of Mike Vernon, Rick Wamsley, Trevor Kidd and Miikka Kiprusoff on the ice or in the rafters of the Saddledome.
“It’s been a dream since I can remember to be a part of the Flames organization. I grew up here in Calgary. It’s very surreal,” said Chad. “The hometown thing for me and where the team is at and my role and opportunity was just too over-powering for me to go somewhere else.”
While he has been on rosters throughout the NHL, Alice says he always comes home to Calgary to train in the off-season.
“It’s nice to be playing on a home team for sure, but for a young fella starting out, just to get a chance to be able to play on a team would be very exciting,” said Alice, who saw her grandson play in the Saddledome last December, as reported in The Mail.
His mother Brenda says the whole family is excited.
“We can’t even put into words how happy we are for him,” said Brenda. “How often do you get to play in your hometown. It’s nice we don’t have to travel to see him play.”
She adds that Chad is also a newlywed as of June.
The Flames home opener is Friday, October 14 versus the Edmonton Oilers.
“Hopefully everyone will be able to come down for it,” said Brenda. “We will be so proud to see him in a Flames jersey.”
Chad Johnson... Flames goalie