Hello and Goodbye: The disappearance of Ryan Shtuka

Hello everyone,

Our time at SAIT will be finishing up in two weeks! We can’t believe 2 years has come and gone so quickly.

This also means our project about the disappearance of Ryan Shtuka is coming to an end.

We decided to record a final podcast just chatting about our experience throughout these last couple months and it was nice way to end of the project and get out our finals thoughts out.

All three of us wanted to say thank you to everyone for all the support and help we have received along the way.

This whole process has been crazy to say the least but, we are so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to be a part of Ryan’s story.

Down below we have linked all the content we have created as well as Ryan’s Facebook page if you wish to continue to keep up with his story.


Andrea, Reya and Storrm.




  1. https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Frtbnnews.wordpress.com%2F2019%2F02%2F05%2Fcapstone-2019-wheres-ryan-shtuka%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR30TcaUtfPD-_4CHU-V6QXa_5sf_GOA2TSQVdagOpvPbOGYyjFpE45HIGc&h=AT2xnrOMcEVooilNNFhmpNd__4kkbUhEZRUQ-9GxMW9uas2m86ib9nNA9lmCr0d_KtCgTeY-hi2pXCgVEK1Hq1XHlGkXkQ1-Zjr-vKqhlqSH9v1TDcvzloGw10wrkjuQsAc
  2. https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Frtbnnews.wordpress.com%2F2019%2F03%2F28%2Fryan-shtuka-our-trip-to-kamloops%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR2aN23wW-i_jp5evAjleWTXw9Nm2XP0iY-AP4WxCYKwhDUpLmg8FSpNrxM&h=AT2xnrOMcEVooilNNFhmpNd__4kkbUhEZRUQ-9GxMW9uas2m86ib9nNA9lmCr0d_KtCgTeY-hi2pXCgVEK1Hq1XHlGkXkQ1-Zjr-vKqhlqSH9v1TDcvzloGw10wrkjuQsAc


  • Final thoughts:

-Andrea Storrm & Reya


Ryan Shtuka: Our Trip to Kamloops

Well It has been a crazy journey, to say the least.

As we are nearing the end of the semester we are finishing up our project on the disappearance of Ryan Shtuka.

It has now been over a year since Ryan disappeared and although our project is coming to end we know that Ryan’s story will continue to live on.

We have grown so much as journalists throughout this journey. Getting to be a part of such an impactful story is not something we have taken lightly and definitely not something we will ever forget.

In this blog, we wanted to talk about our trip to Kamloops and everything we have done following that trip.

On February 17th the three of us packed up one of our cars and headed to Kamloops B.C from Calgary. AB.

Getting the opportunity to travel to Sun Peaks for the anniversary of Ryan’s disappearance was a big deal to us and an incredible opportunity to learn as student journalists. The day we arrived, his family and friends were hosting a candlelight vigil and a celebration for Ryan at Bottoms Bar and Grill in Sun Peaks. As soon as we made it to Kamloops we got checked into our hotel and then headed back onto the road up to the mountain.

Once we arrived at Sun Peaks, we got the chance to speak with Ryan’s mom Heather. We thanked her for letting us be a part of Ryan’s story and for taking so much of her time to speak with us on countless occasions about Ryan and helping us learn about who he was.

After getting the chance to speak with Heather and setting up an interview for later on that week we decided to let Ryan’s family and friends celebrate him so we left and headed back down the mountain to rest up for the next day.

We woke up early the next morning, not wasting any time so we could film as much as possible to create our video documentary, which is in the works right now. It was such a great opportunity for us to get real-life journalism experience and I think all three of us really learned a lot.

We decided that morning to give Kamloops RCMP a call and see if anyone would talk to us on camera and lucky enough the media relations officer, Corporal Jodi Shelkie was available. Getting this on-camera interview gave us an element of credibility to our story and gave us more practice conducting an on-camera interview.

We then made our way back up to Sun Peaks, we started at the top of the mountain and worked our way down filming everything we could think of to put in our video documentary. We got video footage of the street where Ryan was last seen and various shots from the top of Sun Peaks resort as well as some shots of the ski hill and missing poster signs we spotted.

One thing we all made note of was how big the area of land Sun Peaks sits on. Ryan’s family comes back to the mountain each month to search for Ryan and we were really blown away by how large of an area it is and could only imagine how much planning goes into organizing these searches.

Once the sun started to set and all three of us were happy with all the footage we filmed so we packed up and headed back to our hotel and got ready to leave the next day.

Travelling all this way for answers really taught us how to deal with problems as they came up and we now realize this happens all the time in journalism and you really have to be able to think on your feet. Although there were a few bumps in the road we are all were so proud of ourselves for the work and dedication we put in.

The following week we got the chance to do a phone interview with Ryan’s mom Heather and one of Ryan’s High School friends Derek Morel. Speaking with both of them gave us an even better understanding of who Ryan is and what he means to those who know him.

After our interviews, we put together a short podcast of Ryan’s story, including clips from the different interviews we retrieved which also included all three of our voices talking about Ryan’s story so people can put a voice to who we are.

On April 15th, we will be presenting our final project, and all of our findings, to our classmates and receive feedback from them and our teacher

We will all continue to follow Ryan’s story and hope for his safe return. This has been a once in a lifetime experience that has helped us grow as journalists and our hope is that this will continue to bring awareness to not only Ryan’s story but all the missing people here in Canada.

-Andrea Ferrari, Storrm Lennie, Reya Lehoux

Canadian inventors and inventions: Sports

So far we have covered Canadian inventions and inventors that have made an impact on the human race, from delicious foods like peanut butter and poutine to the discovery of insulin by Charles Best back in 1921.

We also touched on Canadian influencers like Calgary’s very own John Ware who was one of the first ranchers in the area to develop irrigation systems in the early 1900s.

And now let’s move onto inventions and inventors that fall under the sports category.
One thing is for sure; ice hockey is the bread and butter for Canadian sports fans. Although evidence shows that the roots of hockey have been attributed to the United Kingdom, the first recorded indoor hockey game dates back to 1875 played in Montreal, Quebec. But the Canadian debate doesn’t end there, seeing that the town of Windsor, Nova Scotia have also been accredited with the invention of hockey. Windsor even managed to get the Ministry of Transport to put up a highway sign saying it was the birthplace of hockey. Among those two cities, others like Kingston, Halifax, and Deline in the Northwest Territories have also claimed the origin of hockey.
But another thing is for sure, Canada is the undisputed king of producing hockey players. Brantford, Ontario’s Wayne Gretzky is believed to be the best hockey player of all time. Canada also holds the most gold medals in the Olympics with nine. So, one can argue that hockey was invented in the United Kingdom, but no one can say that Canada hasn’t been the primary producer of the best hockey players of now and all time.


Another sport that was invented in Canada is lacrosse and was systemized by William George around 1860. The origins of Lacrosse were played by Eastern Woodlands Native Americans and by some Plans Indians tribes in what is now the United States of America and Canada. The game was later revised by European colonizers to North America to create its current collegiate and professional format. However, Canada hasn’t been the most successful country when it comes to winning the World Lacrosse Championship and trails the U.S by seven titles, with only three to its name. Lacrosse is also recognized and declared to be the national summer sport of Canada.


The last sport I will talk about is basketball, which was invented by Almonte, Ontario’s Dr. James Naismith in 1891. Naismith was living in Springfield, Massachusetts and at the age of 30 he wrote the original basketball rule book and founded the University of Kansas basketball program. He would later witness the inception of the NCAA tournament in 1939, and would also live to see basketball implemented as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1904 and as an official event at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. After the game was implemented into the college/university, the professional sport followed. The American National Basketball Association (NBA), established in 1946, grew into a multi-billion-dollar industry and became an essential ingredient in American culture.


James Naismith

Flames break 100 points: What’s different this year?

There we have it, folks.

For the fifth time in franchise history – 8 seasons in Atlanta and 37 in Calgary – the Flames have reached the 100-point mark in the NHL standings.

The previous times the Flames reached 100 points included:

  • 1987-88: 105 pts (48-23-9)
  • 1988-89: 117 pts (54-17-9) ** won Stanley Cup **
  • 1990-91: 100 pts (46-26-8)
  • 2005-06: 103 pts (46-25-11)

With 101 points and a record of 47-21-7 through 75 games, this year’s edition of the Flames has already surpassed the 1990-91 team, and with 7 games remaining in the regular season, it isn’t unrealistic to believe that they could also pass the 2005-06 team and the squad from back in 1987-88.

Here’s a look at the current NHL Western Conference standings, as of the evening of March 24th:

march 24 NHL standings

(Courtesy of NHL.com)

The Flames have a 5-point lead on the San Jose Sharks, who have lost five-straight games, and 7-point lead on the Winnipeg Jets for first in the west.

It is safe to say at this point that the Flames have surpassed all pre-season expectations, and this regular season has been a resounding success. This team missed the playoffs by 11 points last year, and the bounce-back has been incredible.

But how did that happen?

In this final edition of the “Road to the Red Mile” blog, we will compare the 2017-18 Flames with the 2018-19 Flames, and try to make some sense of how they got this good, this quickly.

2017-2018 Calgary Flames team stats: 

  • Total Points: 84 points (20th in NHL)
  • Record: 37-35-10 (missed playoffs by 11 points)
  • Goals For: 216 (27th in NHL)
  • Goals Against: 243 (13th in NHL)
  • Goals-per-game: 2.63 (27th in NHL)
  • Powerplay: 16.0% (29th in NHL)
  • Penalty Kill: 81.8% (7th in NHL)
  • Shots-per-game: 33.6 (6th in NHL)
  • Faceoff-win Percentage: 49.4% (19th in NHL)

2018-2019 Calgary Flames team stats (through 75 games): 

  • Total Points: 101 points (2nd in NHL)
  • Record: 47-21-7
  • Goals For: 268 (2nd in NHL)
  • Goals Against: 206 (23rd in NHL)
  • Goals-per-game: 3.57 (2nd in NHL)
  • Powerplay: 20.7% (13th in NHL)
  • Penalty Kill: 79.7% (19th)
  • Shots-per-game: 32.3 (14th in NHL)
  • Faceoff-win Percentage: 52.0% (3rd in NHL)

This year’s Calgary Flames are beating last year’s squad in basically every category.

The one I would like to focus on, however, is the offense. In one calendar year, the Flames went from 27th (out of 31 teams) in the league for goals scored, to second. Calgary looks like a much deeper team offensively than they did in 2017-18, so where did all those goals come from?

Players from Calgary’s 2017-18 roster that are no longer with the team: 

  • Matt Bartkowski (D): 2 pts in 18 GP
  • Troy Brouwer (F): 22 pts in 76 GP
  • Michael Ferland (F): 41 pts in 77 GP
  • Tanner Glass (F): 0 pts in 16 GP
  • Dougie Hamilton (D): 44 pts in 82 GP
  • Freddie Hamilton (F): 1 pt in 8 GP
  • Jaromir Jagr (F): 7 pts in 22 GP
  • Brett Kulak (D): 8 pts in 71 GP
  • Nick Shore (F): 3 pts in 9 GP
  • Matt Stajan (F): 12 pts in 68 GP
  • Chris Stewart (F): 3 pts in 7 GP
  • Kris Versteeg (F): 8 pts in 24 GP

Those 12 players from last year’s team totaled 151 points.

Of note, 9 of those 13 players are not NHL regulars this season.

New to Calgary’s roster this year: 

  • Austin Czarnik (F): 14 pts in 47 GP
  • Oscar Fantenberg (D): 1 pt in 10 GP
  • Noah Hanifin (D): 30 pts in 75 GP
  • James Neal (F): 15 pts in 56 GP
  • Elias Lindholm (F): 77 pts in 75 GP
  • Dalton Prout (D): 1 pt in 15 GP
  • Alan Quine (F): 4 pts in 11 GP
  • Derek Ryan (F): 33 pts in 74 GP

These 8 players that are new to the Flames this season, have totaled 175 points so far this year.

But of course, it’s not just new guys who have had an impact offensively. Big steps have been taken internally by young guns within the organization, who have become NHL-regulars this season.

Rasmus Andersson 

  • Drafted #53 overall by the Flames in 2015 (22-years-old)
  • Last season: 0 pts in 10 GP with the Flames
  • This year: 16 pts in 72 GP

Garnet Hathaway

  • Undrafted signing by the Flames in 2015 (27-years-old)
  • Last season: 13 pts in 59 GP
  • This year: 16 pts in 69 GP

Andrew Mangiapane 

  • Drafted #166 overall by the Flames in 2015 (22-years-old)
  • Last season: 0 pts in 10 GP
  • This year: 11 pts in 37 GP (including 6 pts in his last 10 GP)

Oliver Kylington

  • Drafted #60 overall by the Flames in 2015 (21-years-old)
  • Last season: 0 pts in 1 GP
  • This year: 7 pts in 36 GP

And then of course, the Flames are seeing career years from many of their players.

If you compare the Flames top-10 scorers from 2017-18 to this season, the change is noticeable.

Flames top-10 scorers, 2017-18: 

  1. J. Gaudreau (24-60-84 pts)
  2. S. Monahan (31-33-64 pts)
  3. M. Tkachuk (24-25-49 pts)
  4. M. Backlund (14-31-45 pts)
  5. D. Hamilton (17-27-44 pts) **
  6. M. Ferland (21-20-41 pts) **
  7. M. Giordano (13-25-38 pts)
  8. T. Brodie (4-28-32 pts)
  9. S. Bennett (11-15-26 pts)
  10. M. Jankowski (17-8-25 pts)

** players who are no longer with the Flames

Flames top-10 scorers, 2018-19 – through 75 games: 

  1. J. Gaudreau (35-57-92 pts)
  2. E. Lindholm (27-50-77 pts) **
  3. M. Tkachuk (34-42-76 pts)
  4. S. Monahan (31-45-76 pts)
  5. M. Giordano (16-56-72 pts)
  6. M. Backlund (20-26-46 pts)
  7. M. Frolik (15-18-33 pts)
  8. D. Ryan (9-24-33 pts) **
  9. T. Brodie (8-24-32 pts)
  10. N. Hanifin (5-25-30 pts) **

** players who are new to the Flames this season

The comparison between the last two seasons is very interesting. In 2017-18, the Flames only had one player – Johnny Gaudreau – break the 70-point plateau; this year, the Flames become the first team since the 2000-01 Pittsburgh Penguins to have five players with 70 points or more. With Giordano reaching 70-point mark with a 3-point performance against the Canucks on Saturday, he also became just the third defenceman to post a 70-point season at age 35 or older.

** Gio for the Norris chants continue.**

The big question heading into the post-season will be: can the Flames offense continue to be this hot?

One guy who might be able to help with that is James Neal; perhaps the only underachiever on Calgary’s roster this season.

Neal was the biggest UFA signing by Calgary in the off-season; inked to a 5-year deal worth north of $5 million per season.

But the veteran winger has only notched 15 points – and only 5 goals – in his 56 games played with the club this season. Before joining the Flames, “The Real Deal” had strung together 10-straight seasons with 20 goals or more.

So can Neal get back to his old ways? Or is the 31-year-old past his prime?

Fans continue to hope that Neal’s offensive prowess will show in the playoffs, where he’s proven himself to be a clutch sniper. The only player to appear in the last two Stanley Cup Finals – as a member of the 2016-17 Nashville Predators and then the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights – has 100 career playoff games played.

He is one of just 40 active players in the NHL who have played 100 or more post-season games.

In those 100 games, Neal has 31 goals and 55 points; including 11 points in 20 games in the Cinderella cup run that Vegas went on last year.

Neal got back in action on Saturday against the Canucks, his first game since sustaining an injury on February 14th. With just seven more games to get back up to game speed, Neal doesn’t have much time left to figure out who he’s going to be for the Flames come the post-season, but if he can figure it out… watch out.


The Flames are back in Calgary now for a three-game home-stand that begins tomorrow night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

  • Monday, March 25: LA Kings – 7:00 PM MT
  • Wednesday, March 27: Dallas Stars – 7:30 PM MT
  • Friday, March 29: Anaheim Ducks – 7:00 PM MT

After that they embark on their last road trip of the season – a three-game swing through California – before the season finale: a Battle of Alberta on home ice on the last day of the regular season, April 6th, versus the Edmonton Oilers.

The final stretch will be important as the Flames look to clinch the Pacific Division, Western Conference, and home-ice in the 2018-19 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Cheer loud, Flames Fans.


— Danica Ferris and Jake Foster


Prepare the Red Mile: Flames clinch playoff spot

And there we have it. With Minnesota’s 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Sunday, it was official.

This morning the Flames woke up with an “X” next to their logo in the standings; “X” marking a spot in the 2018-2019 post-season.

Courtesy of NHL.com: Standings from morning of March 18, 2019

The Flames become just the second team in the league – and the first from the Western Conference – to secure a playoff berth.

So prepare yourselves, C of Red and Red Mile-goers, in just over three weeks playoff hockey will be back in Calgary.

The Flames have just ten games left in the regular season, so let’s take a look at what’s remaining on the schedule before the playoffs, as well as what it will take to clinch home-ice and maybe even the Western Conference title.

Remaining Schedule:

Six of the Flames’ last ten regular season games will be played at the Scotiabank Saddledome, with a single-game trip to Vancouver and three-game swing through California remaining.

Courtesy Sportsnet.ca: Flames Schedule March 19 – April 6

In their final ten games, the Flames face just three teams that currently sit in playoff spots – Columbus, Dallas and San Jose – with their other seven opponents having no hope of reaching the post-season.

The game against San Jose on March 31st has the potential to be the biggest game of the season. With the Sharks sitting just one point back of Calgary for top spot in the Pacific, each game and every single point will be huge down the stretch. The head-to-head will swing four points in the standings, so if the two manage to keep pace with each other leading up to the contest, it could be the difference in who wins the division.

Not only are the Flames battling for first in the Pacific against the Sharks, but there is also a very real possibility that the two could meet in the second round of the playoffs.

Let’s dive a little deeper into how the Flames have fared against the Sharks this season.

Flames and Sharks head-to-head

Calgary and San Jose have played three of four regular season games against each other in the 2018-2019 NHL season.

  • November 11 – CGY @ SJS: 3-1 Sharks win
  • December 31 – CGY vs. SJS: 8-5 Calgary win
  • February 7 – CGY vs. SJS: 5-2 Sharks win
  • March 31 – CGY @ SJS: TBD

The Flames will look to split their season-series with the Sharks when they visit the SAP Centre on March 31st, as the second game in a three-game trip through California.

In three games, the Sharks have an edge in goals scored; netting 13 to Calgary’s 11. San Jose has had 11 players contribute offensively in those three games, while Calgary has had 14 different players on the score sheet. Of those producing offense for both teams, the Sharks have five players averaging over a point-per-game versus the Flames, and on the flip-side, the Flames have four. Those players include:

For San Jose:

  • Evander Kane: 3G, 4A (7 pts)
  • Joonas Donskoi: 3G, 3A (6 pts)
  • Tomas Hertl: 2G, 3A (5 pts)
  • Brent Burns: 2G, 3A (5 pts)
  • Joe Pavelski: 1G, 3A (4 pts)

For Calgary:

  • Sean Monahan: 1G, 5A (6 pts)
  • Johnny Gaudreau: 2G, 2A (4 pts) — All four points on December 31st
  • Matthew Tkachuk: 2G, 2A (4 pts) — All four points on December 31st
  • Elias Lindholm: 1G, 2A (3 pts) — All three points on December 31st

Of the two teams, there is only three players who have registered points in all three games, and they all play for the teal. Evander Kane, Joonas Donskoi and Tomas Hertl have all hit the score sheet in all three games against the Flames.

With the exception of the New Years Eve barn-burner, the Sharks have done an excellent job of shutting down Flames’ leading scorer Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau – who has over a point-per-game this season – had 4 points (2G, 2A) in the December 31st win, but has been held scoreless in the other two contests against San Jose.

With 24 goals scored through three games – for an average of 8 goals-per-game – it is also important to examine how the goaltenders have fared.

Goaltending Matchup

Through the three games we have seen four different goalies. Here is a game-by-game summary of the goaltending:

November 11 (3-1 SJS win in San Jose):

  • Flames: Mike Smith (26 SV on 28 SA)
  • Sharks: Martin Jones (29 SV on 30 SA)

December 31 (8-5 CGY win in Calgary):

  • Flames: David Rittich (28 SV on 33 SA)
  • Sharks: Aaron Dell (19 SV on 27 SA)

February 7 (5-2 SJS win in Calgary):

  • Flames: Started David Rittich (2 GA on 6 SA) who was pulled after 13 minutes, Mike Smith (21 SV on 24 SA) played the rest of the game
  • Sharks: Martin Jones (36 SV on 38 SA)

 The main difference between San Jose and Calgary in the crease is that the Sharks have a clearly defined number one goalie, while the Flames might still be up in the air when it comes to their Game 1 starter in the playoffs. The Flames have seen both Martin Jones (2 wins) and Aaron Dell (1 loss) this season, but here’s a closer look at their respective numbers on the year:

  • Martin Jones: 55 GP (34-15-5) with a 2.86 GAA and a .899 SV%
  • Aaron Dell: 21 GP (9-6-3) with a 3.06 GAA and a .889 SV%

Of note, both goalies are having statistical seasons that are below career average. In 279 career games, Jones has a 2.44 GAA and .912 SV%, and in 70 career games, Dell has a 2.57 GAA and .912 SV%. Jones started the season significantly below his normal standard of play, but he has really come on in last month. Dell won’t challenge for the starter’s spot in San Jose, but in Calgary the situation in goal is a very different story.

Mike Smith started the season as the undisputed starter, but a shaky first half and strong back-up performance – from second-year Rittch – led to Smith’s loss of the bulk of the starts. Here’s how the Flames tandem in goal has done so far this year:

  • David Rittich: 41 GP (25-7-5) with a 2.65 GAA and .910 SV%
  • Mike Smith: 36 GP (19-14-2) with a 2.88 GAA and .896 SV%

Smith is similar to the San Jose goalies, in that his numbers in the 2018-2019 season have been below career average. In his long career, Smith has a 2.71 GAA and .912 SV% in 565 NHL games. Rittich’s numbers better than in his first NHL season, so this has been the best year of his short career.

On paper, it would seem that Rittich would be the more obvious choice as the Flames’ Game 1 starter; however, it might not be so clearly cut.

Flames head coach Bill Peters has shown a willingness to give a longer leash to the veteran Smith, while Rittich has been more closely policed. For example, in Calgary’s 5-2 loss to San Jose on Feburary 7th, Rittich was pulled just 13 minutes into the game after allowing two goals on six shots. Smith also had a stretch in February soon after the loss to the Sharks when he went 4-0-1 in five-straight starts. So while Rittich has won more games and put up better numbers for the Flames this season, Peters might still be wondering if leaning on Smith – who has played 502 more NHL games than Rittich – would be a better bet in the first round.

For now, we will just have to see how the final ten games of the season play out in the crease, and we have a better idea of the Flames’ game one starter before the playoffs begin on April 10th.


The Flames may have clinched a playoff berth, but there’s still a lot to play for in their final ten games of the regular season. The battle between Calgary and San Jose for first in the division, and likely first in the Western Conference, could come down to their meeting on March 31st in San Jose.

For now, prepare yourselves, Flames fans. Playoff hockey is back for the C of Red, and the Red Mile will live on this spring.

Road to the Red Mile (Danica Ferris & Jake Foster)

Canada’s top inventions

There are a lot of Canadians have done to make a positive impact on the world, today we are going to a look at some of the most important inventions Canadians have made to make the world a better place. You may think we haven’t invented much, but I guarantee you by the end of this blog you will realize you use multiple Canadian inventions everyday!

To start things off we are going to talk about an invention that many people may be mistaken about who invented it. Something that every household has, every business and building in every city. It has guided us and helped vastly in any work that happens after the sun goes down. A very illuminating device, that is easily one of the most important and widely used across the globe. Some might say Thomas Edison invented it but, he only bought the patent…It is the incandescent light bulb! Canadian inventor Henry Woodard created his prototype in 1874 with the help of his partner Matthew Evans. Consisting of a glass tube with a large piece of carbon connected to two wires and filled with nitrogen to increase the lifespan. They patented the idea and it was later bought by Edison, then improved slightly.

Sir Frederick Banting circa 1921

The next big invention was definitely “Insulin”, it has saved countless lives and completely stopped diabetes from becoming a death sentence. The process to extract medicinal insulin was invented by Frederick Banting, Charles Best and James Collip who all received the Nobel Prize for their efforts in 1923, a year after their discovery. According to the Nobel Prize website, the team patented their insulin extract and sold the rights to the university for $1. Needless to say the drug has saved and prolonged millions of diabetic lives. The fact our healthcare system offers it for free, as it is a life saving drug for an incurable disease, is also very important. Especially when you look at the U.S. and the problems they are having with drug prices increasing. Take notes America!

John Hopps testing the first pacemaker in 1946 (National Research Council of Canada)

Another big life saving invention Canadians made is the “Pacemaker”. In 1950, an electrical Engineer named John Hopps designed and built the first external Pacemaker. It was first tested on a dog and was quite a crude device and apparently very uncomfortable for the patient, it was also powered using a wall socket. Since then it has obviously become far smaller and more reliable and has saved plenty of lives.

George Klein (National Research Council of Canada)

One of Canada’s most accomplished inventors is George Klein, born in Ontario in 1954. He worked for forty years as a mechanical engineer at the National Research Council of Canada laboratories in Ottawa. He is responsible inventing the first electric wheelchair for quadriplegics, the first mirco-surgical staple gun, the ZEEP nuclear reactor which is the precursor for the current CANDU reactor. He even made a scientific language for snow coverage and helped create a new army snowmobile/ATV. Later he was pulled out of retirement to consult on the Canadarm, which is described by the Canadian Space Agency as “Canada’s most famous robotic and technological achievement. The man was well accomplished and even designed something that made it into space! His inventions helped many people and took science to a whole new level for Canada.

Reginald Fessenden (Bettmann archive/Getty Images)

Another big inventor and my personal favorite is Reginald Aubrey Fessenden a very prolific inventor and developed over 500 patents. The most well known would be his work on “Wireless Telegraphy” or what we all know as “Radio”. He was the first to broadcast on the AM radio band in 1900. He often doesn’t get enough credit due to being out shined by Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi, who is credited as the “inventor of radio”. Fessenden built a two-way radio transmission towers. One near Boston and the other in Scotland, which he used to transmit the first transatlantic radio broadcast in 1906. He started out as a young man inspired by Thomas Edison and eventually worked his way up to become an assistant tester for the Edison Machine Works. From there he moved on to trying to understand radio waves which he did exceedingly well, so well that most of the scientific community would’t believe him or understand when he tried to describe how radio waves behave… He ended up being right all along. Fessenden went on to patent many more ideas like helping create a sonar system called the Fessenden Oscillator, after the events of the Titanic. After World War 1 broke out, he patented the basic ideas behind reflection seismology, which was used to find enemy artillery or tunnels through vibrations in the ground and is now used to find oil. He even patented ideas for incendiary tracer bullets, pagers, and a television apparatus. You could call him that father of radio, but he went much farther than that. He used sound to do so many different things on land, sea and air that not only helped the military but all of humanity.

Electronic Sackbut exhibit in the Canada Science and Technology Museum

Speaking of the sea and sound. Canadians also invented the Steam Fog Horn. Which was vital for any sailors during a foggy day when they can’t tell where the shore line is. I’m sure thousands of Sailors owe their lives to these thunderous horns. Though they may be obsolete now, due to advancements in things like sonar, they were very important to have around. Many people may not also be aware that we also invented the Synthesizer. In 1940 a man named Hugh Le Caine invented what he called the “Electronic Sackbut”, funny name, but it did make some funny sounds. It took a while to catch on, but what would the 80’s have sounded like without it? We even invented the Walkie-Talkie or two-way radio, thanks to the advancements from Fessenden, which are both fun and extremely useful.(Atleast until cellphones were invented.) Let’s also not forget that Alexander Graham Bell, the man who invented the telephone. He was born in Scotland, then moved to Canada for a while, then moved to america. He’s kind of a mixed bag but we will mention him because his invention did change the world just as much as radio… and he was a little bit Canadian after all.

Now we have covered some of the most significant inventions/inventors Canada has had to offer but what about the things people use everyday and may not even know its Canadian? For starters, if your wearing pants, which I hope you are, take a look at your zipper. Now imagine that lovely thing being buttons instead. Not great right? Well be thankful we invented Zippers and Velcro, because I’m sure we don’t want to live in a world ruled by buttons. Well we didn’t exactly invent Velcro, that was Swiss engineer George De Mestral in 1955. A Toronto man J. Donald Webster actually acquired the rights and pushed it into the public eye and sold the heck out of it. On the note of clothing, there’s a couple more things we crated that left a big mark. The “Wonderbra” was developed by Moe Nadler in 1939, and went through quite a lot of changes from the first strapless bra to the pointed bust. In the 1960s, the company produced their first push up bra, the prototype to the one widely used today. Not good enough? Well Lululemon Athletica is also Canadian, and who doesn’t love some nice yoga pants? Together with the Wonderbra it gives Canadian a big advantage in looking and feeling great.

Some other inventions we use daily include the “paint roller”, invented around 1940 in Toronto by Normal Breakey, he unfortunately died before being able the patent and profit from it though. The “Robertson screw” and screw driver where a huge help in the trades, with more reliable square shaped divots that held the screw on the driver without falling off, it also made it much less prone to stripping. The “green garbage bag” was invented by Harry Wasylyk and Larry Hansen in Winnipeg in 1950. They were invented for use in hospitals but the idea was bought and resold under the name Glad. Caulking guns, Plexiglas, Alkaline batteries, Spiral nails, Pagers, Blackberry’s, and IMAX movies are all Canadian inventions. Unsurprisingly, Snow blowers and Snowmobiles were also invented by Canadians, along with the Electric Oven and “Easy-Off” oven cleaner. Even Egg Cartons are a Canadian invention! How did they used to sell eggs? Individually?

Many of these inventions are used daily in peoples homes, not just in Canada, and a lot of them are essential to tradesmen. It’s nice to take a look back and be thankful for all the things Canada has done to make life easier, safer, and more fun.

This isn’t even half of the things Canadians have made or patented, there will be more to come. I hope you learned something about the inventions Canadians have put out into the world. Now try and remember how many Canadian inventions you’ve used today and comment below!

-Kyle Hutton

Flames down Knights in potential playoff preview

Sunday’s showdown between the Calgary Flames and Vegas Golden Knights had the kind of “most important game of the year” narrative surrounding it that is so common at this time of year.

And sure, it might have been the most important game of the year for the Flames… for now… until that title is most likely taken by their March 31st matchup with the San Jose Sharks.  

The Flames will probably play a handful of “most important games of the year” in their final stretch, as they jockey for position – and home ice advantage – heading into the post-season.

But their fourth meeting of the year with the Knights definitely did feel like the stakes were higher than any game in recent memory, as the two teams entered Sunday riding two very different streaks of play.

Four-straight losses for the Flames, and a six-game winning streak for the Golden Knights.

One team looking to change their fortunes, and one looking to stay hot.

The two also had bad blood fresh in their minds, after a meeting just four days prior, when Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury earned his league-leading 33rd win of the season, in a game that had all speed and bite of a playoff matchup. The 2-1 Knights victory might have only featured three goals (four, if you count Johnny Gaudreau’s disallowed marker) but it didn’t lack in entertainment, with both teams recording a matching 26 hits, and Matthew Tkachuk further thrusting himself into the “most hated player in the league” conversation.

So less than one hundred hours later – after the Flames failed to win their first game ever at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas – all eyes were on the Flames’ third-year winger.

And as he’s proven throughout his young career, he thrives when the spotlight is pointed at him.

Skating on a reunited 3M line, alongside Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik, Tkachuk was the most noticeable player on the ice – once again – as the Flames and Knights dropped the puck.

The line combined for 11 points, including Tkachuk’s first career hat-trick (he also added an assist), four helpers from Frolik, and two goals and an assist by Backlund.

The other Flame that managed to beat Knights’ back-up netminder Malcom Subban was Andrew Mangiapane, who opened the scoring with his fourth of the year.

With a final score of 6-3, the Flames victory bumped them back into first place in the Pacific – one point up on the Sharks, who have a game in hand – and kept them firmly in the driver’s seat for post-season home-ice advantage, with an eight-point lead on the Golden Knights.

The Flames have just 13 games remaining in the regular season, with eight of those on home ice, so winning the Pacific division is still a very probable outcome; but if the Flames don’t manage to lock up the Pacific, they would more than likely face these very same Golden Knights in the first round of playoffs.

So how do the Flames matchup, on paper, against Vegas? Let’s take a look.


The Flames and Golden Knights will not meet again in the 2018-19 regular season, as last night’s game ended their season-series in a 2-2 split, with both teams winning their two games on home ice.

  • November 19 in Calgary: Flames win 7-2
  • November 24 in Las Vegas: Knights win 2-0
  • March 6 in Las Vegas: Knights win 2-1
  • March 10 in Calgary: Flames win 6-3

One thing that is immediately noticeable about the season-series is the difference in the amount of goals scored in Calgary, versus in Vegas. The two teams combined for 18 goals in two contests at the Saddledome, while there were just five goals recorded between the two at T-Mobile Arena. A major reason for this discrepancy is goaltending, with Marc-Andre Fleury starting both games at home, while backup Malcom Subban suited up for the two visits to Calgary; but I’ll have more on the goaltending later.

With this being just the second season for the NHL’s newest franchise, the Golden Knights and Flames don’t have much of a history to look back on. But in their eight regular season meetings the edge goes to Vegas, who are 5-3-0 against Calgary. Both teams average over three goals-per-game against each other, with Calgary netting an average of 3.3 goals and Vegas just behind them at 3.1. Obviously that stat would be heavily skewed for the Flames because of the high-scoring affairs this season at the Saddledome.

Finally, in those eight meetings, we are yet to see the Flames and Golden Knights face-off in overtime, and – as mentioned previously – we are yet to see the Flames secure a win at T-Mobile Arena.


One of the biggest differences between the Flames and Golden Knights is the state of their crease. While Vegas has a proven, elite starter in Marc-Andre Fleury, Calgary’s starter for Game 1 of the post-season still remains a question mark. David Rittich (23-7-5) and Mike Smith (19-13-2) have both had solid stretches this year, but neither goalie has firmly grabbed the title of starter.

The edge for stats would have to go to Rittich:  

  • Rittich: 23-7-5, .911 SV%, 2.65 GAA
  • Smith: 19-13-2, .896 SV%, 2.90 GAA

But the veteran experience and puck handling that Smith provides are intangibles that can’t be quantified.

Rittich has started all four of the Flames’ games against Vegas this year, and has fared well against the Knights:

  • November 19 (7-2 W): 20 saves on 22 shots, .909 SV%
  • November 24 (2-0 L): 26 saves on 28 shots, .929 SV%
  • March 6 (2-1 L): 36 saves on 38 shots, .947 SV%
  • March 10 (6-3 W): 25 saves on 28 shots, .893 SV%

He hasn’t stolen them a game at T-Mobile Arena, where the Flames have struggled to beat Fleury, but he’s given them a chance to win games.

While Fleury is the undisputed number one guy in Vegas, the same can’t be said for Calgary.

Goaltending will be a huge topic of conversation for the Flames as they finish off the regular season and head into the playoffs, and at this point it still remains a toss-up for who will start Game 1 for Calgary.  

Other important stats

Another way you could forecast a potential playoff meeting between the Flames and Golden Knights would be to directly compare their regular season stats. So far this season:

  • Record:
    • Flames: 42-20-7
    • Golden Knights: 38-27-5
  • Home Record:
    • Flames: 21-7-5
    • Golden Knights: 21-10-4
  • Away Record:
    • Flames: 21-13-2
    • Golden Knights: 17-17-1
  • Goal Differential:
    • Flames: +42 (3rd in NHL)
    • Golden Knights: +16 (11th in NHL)
  • Power Play:
    • Flames: 21.9% (9th in NHL)
    • Golden Knights: 17.2% (22nd in NHL)
  • Penalty Kill:
    • Flames: 79.5% (22nd in NHL)
    • Golden Knights: 81.8% (7th in NHL)
  • Short-handed goals:
    • Flames: 16 SHG (1st in NHL)
    • Golden Knights: 8 SHG (7th in NHL)

Obviously those aren’t all of the statistical categories you could compare, but in those seven, Calgary has the edge in six.

The topic of home-ice advantage is huge surrounding the Golden Knights because Vegas has such an insane atmosphere inside of T-Mobile Arena, but the Flames have just as many wins on home ice as the Knights do this season. The theatrics of Las Vegas could go head-to-head with the Red Mile and C of Red. The Flames may not have won a game in Vegas yet, but their record on the road is better than the Knights’.


All this research and discussion could be for nothing, if say the Flames clinch first in the Pacific and the Knights get knocked out in round 1; but if you’re into gambling – as most people who go to Las Vegas are – the odds are good that we’ll see the two meet again this year. A 2-2-0 regular season series was entertaining enough that you wouldn’t hear many people complain if the two did indeed meet in the post-season, and with just 13 games remaining for the Flames, we won’t have to wait long to find out their first round opponent.

— Road to the Red Mile (Danica Ferris & Jake Foster)