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Ep. 5: FLAMES UP CLOSE with Ryan Leslie, guest Martin Gelinas

Ryan Leslie talks to Flames' assistant coach Martin Gelinas about his storied career and where his coaching role is taking him next.

Martin Gelinas mans the bench against the Los Angeles King at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 5, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Calgary Flames assistant coach Martin Gelinas is no stranger to Calgary Flames fans, both as a player and a leader.

fileGerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

Martin Gelinas mans the bench against the Los Angeles King at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 5, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Calgary Flames assistant coach Martin Gelinas is no stranger to Calgary Flames fans, both as a player and a leader.

I greet Martin Gelinas on the team charter bound for Vancouver.

"Are you ready for your popularity to explode?" I joked.

A big grin followed by "is the podcast ready to go?!" Is his response.

Being around the Flames assistant coach the last few years, I've had the chance to see just how respected Gelinas is throughout the National Hockey League. From his warm and welcoming personality, to his work ethic, to his hockey history.  And what a history it is. 

Most hockey fans will remember "Gelly" being apart of the most famous deal in the hockey history, aka "The Gretzky trade." Flames fans will never forget how "the Eliminator" helped guide the Calgary club to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final and of course now they see him in his coaching role or on the ice working his players into game shape.

Few can match his fitness levels or gracious nature.  His history with this city, has him arguably was one of the most beloved Athletes here of all time. 

We sat down to discuss his travels throughout this game.  From a young kid who didn't understand English, trying to find his way, to playing alongside one of the great leaders in all of sport – Mark Messier. Along with that came four Stanley Cup Finals with four different teams - and, of course, hoisting Lord Stanley's mug over his head. 

I chatted with Gelinas for almost a half hour. And we barely scratched the surface on a career and a life in hockey. 

Can't wait for part two. 

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