With Christmas upon us and hockey season just weeks away, Flames fans have so many things to be thankful for. For some, Santa and his reindeer delivered Blasty Jerseys and left them under the tree, while for others, he left nothing more than a lump of coal.
The iconic image of Santa and his nine reindeer has been etched into our hearts since childhood, and while we all can describe Santa and Rudolph, some of us are a little less familiar with the rest of his reindeer. Using the descriptions of the reindeer provided by Holidappy, we have broken down all the iconic characters in the beloved Christmas song, and which Flames player best embodies them.
Jolly old Saint Nicholas is known for his big personality, jolly demeanor, and love of cookies. He is also known as someone who is incredibly giving, spending his time crafting gifts for all the children of the world. Donning a big white beard, a red suit, and black boots, Santa is a large figure, but very loveable.
Without a doubt, this is Mark Giordano. Known for his (albeit small) beard, big red jersey, and black boots, the Captain is responsible for making others feel good and be at their best all season long. The heart and soul of the team, Giordano is also known for his charity work, which includes buying groceries for people over Christmas, working with kids in schools, and much more. The winner of the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award, alongside the Norris Trophy as the best defenceman just two seasons back, nobody else quite represents Santa the way that Giordano does.
Santa is the father of Christmas, and Giordano is the father of the Flames.
The name says it all. Dasher is fast and furious. Known to be a happy reindeer, he has a big heart and likes to celebrate. While Dasher prefers track and field, he is also strong at any speed based sport. A reindeer with a big heart, and one who loves his close friends, Dasher is not just great on the track, he’s an all around good dude.
Who is the Flames’ speed demon but Johnny Gaudreau. Known for his acceleration, and ability to beat guys one on one, Gaudreau loves to score big goals and is not afraid to celebrate them either. While he loves to score, he is also an incredible playmaker, always looking to create chances for his pals Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm. A generally happy guy with a big heart, the Flames’ number 13 embodies Dasher.
You would be forgiven for imagining Dancer for being just, as the name suggests, a dancer. But he is so much more that that. Known for incredible hand-eye coordination, this reindeer is an extreme extrovert, known for being very popular among friends. With a passion for bright coloured clothes and a love of celebrations, Dancer is a cool reindeer with a funk about him.
Elias Lindholm is that guy. Not only does he have incredible hand-eye coordination, he also loves to celebrate. Obviously a great in the room kind of guy, Lindholm has a wicked sense of humour, a love of the outdoors, and obviously enjoys spending time with his pals. He even included newcomer Jacob Markstrom in his family Christmas photo. What a great guy!
Unlike Dancer, Prancer is not known as much for his rhythm. He is known for his high energy style and style. Intensely loyal, Prancer always makes sure to look his best and is very enthusiastic. As they say in hockey, Prancer is a good in the room type of guy. The guy who cares about others, is always loud, and cheering his teammates on all game long.
This is David Rittich no question. Very loud, very vocal and very high energy. The type of guy who loves to win and put on a big show when he does. Great in the room, Rittich’s big hugs with Matthew Tkachuk have become emblematic of the type of guy he is. On top of that, he has a deep love for his family, and especially his younger brother, Tomas. Between the stick flips and intense celebrations, Big Save Dave embodies Prancer to a tee.
Vixen gets a bit of a bad rap among reindeer for being shrewd and heartless, but this isn’t who he is. Incredibly smart, Vixen strikes a balance between being calm and causing a little mischief. However, being charismatic, he has a way of not getting in too much trouble. Vixen is a born leader, someone people trust and can confide in. He loves to be the centre of attention, and enjoys making new friends.
Who else could this be but Matthew Tkachuk. The heart and soul of the Calgary Flames team, Tkachuk embodies everything that Vixen is. Tkachuk is a born leader, and someone who knows how to cause chaos at all ends of the ice. Having spent the last few years on a Friendship Tour across the league, Tkachuk enjoys being at the centre of all the action, but knows how to toe the line and not get into too much trouble. Nobody else could be Vixen but him.
The glue that holds the reindeer together, Comet is both very smart and very funny. Great in the room, Comet is a laid back guy who gets along well with others and is very flexible. He is always willing to lend a hand, is looked up to by kids, and just seems like a good guy. One thing that makes Comet special is he is a do-er. Once he sets his mind to something, he will do it.
Smart, funny, and flexible sounds a lot like Milan Lucic. Maybe Father Time has caught up with him in the speed department, but there is no doubting his hockey IQ. Lucic understands the game at a very high level, and has worked hard to bond with the team in Calgary. He hosted a team Christmas party last year, and seems to be a guy who gets along well with others. He even plays well with kids, helping both Dillon Dube and Sam Bennett find success through the playoffs last year. He is always willing to lend a hand, just like Comet does with Santa’s sleigh.
The biggest beauty of all the reindeer, Cupid is the most affectionate of all the reindeer. Unhappy when his friends are sad, he is always willing to do whatever he can to help them feel better. Very generous, Cupid is always looking to remind people of the bigger picture, and helping them to smile even on bad days. Very stylish and well-dressed, Cupid is the full package.
This one has to be Mikael Backlund. A pass-first type of player, Backlund is always there to help his teammates look and feel better. Anyone who plays with him tends to look better than when they are without him, and he is able to play both offensive and defensive hockey. A Swedish star, Backlund also has great looks and great style, making him the Flames’ Cupid.
The name Donner comes from the German word for Thunder. A loud booming reindeer, he loves to take charge and get things done. Very creative, he mostly expresses himself through his love of music. A hummer and a singer, Donner has been known to hum all the time, including while flying. A close friend of most of the reindeer, he is a great in the room kind of reindeer.
With a big booming shot and his love of music, Rasmus Andersson embodies Donner’s personality. With a cannon from the point, and his ability to take charge on both the powerplay and penalty kill, Andersson is a budding star. He also seems to get along with most of the team. However what makes Andersson so loveable is his love of music. When Coach Geoff Ward first took over the team and players were allowed to pick the music during warmup, Andersson took control, playing DJ regularly over the Saddledome’s sound system. Nobody embodies Donner quite like him.
Similar to Dasher, Blitzen is known for his speed. But more than just his speed, Blitzen is incredibly keen, eager to be right in the middle of the action. Always on time, he likes to get places quickly and zip from item to item. Blitzen is not one for routine, preferring to be creative and spontaneous in his play. With his name deriving from the Latin for lightning, he is a ball of energy that, while not always in control, always playing at 110%.
High octane high energy hockey is the definition of Playoff Sam Bennett. Giving it his all, he comes alive in playoff games, always right in the middle of the action creating chances. Not always the most disciplined player, one thing that you cannot fault him on is his spontaneity, which he brings in droves. A very creative player, he is able to create chances or get shots on net that cause goalies trouble. A ball of energy, Playoff Sam Bennett is very much Blitzen.
Unlike the other reindeer, Rudolph is not overly fast, not overly loud, nor overly energetic. A quiet, shier guy, Rudolph is someone who faced more adversity in his years pulling Santa’s sleigh. While he does love reindeer games, he takes a bit more time to get comfortable with his fellow reindeer. But when he gets into it, he is a force to be reckoned with. A leader when he needs to be, Rudolph becomes very playful and loves helping his friends have a good time. He also loves to see new places, and be their for his friends when they need help.
This is Andrew Mangiapane. The tiny sixth round pick took a little longer to develop into an NHLer, with some still writing him off because of his size. However Mang has developed into a bona-fide NHLer, capable of taking on other team’s top lines. A humble guy, he definitely likes playing games, and is very good at them. He has played with most guys on the team, and is able to handle his own in any situation. A guy who can step up when called upon, and who doesn’t back down from a challenge, Mangiapane is the Flame’s Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
On behalf of all of us at The Win Column, wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a very Happy Holiday Season!
Photo credits: Bre Kenworthy/Calgary Herald