As one of the ablest shutdown wingers of his generation, Colin Patterson has always been a details guy.
“We bought out first house back in, probably, ’85,” said Patterson, a finalist for the Selke Trophy in the Flames’ Stanley Cup-winning season of ’88-’89. “In Newmarket (Ont.).
“At the time, being young, not having established yourself, you had no idea where you’ll wind up settling down, how far you’d go or, quite frankly, how long the game would last for you.
“So being close to home, close to family – I’d grown up in Rexdale, about an hour-and-a-half away from Newmarket – seemed to be the way to go.
“When we bought that place, Sherrie and I were looking to the future, down the road 10, 15 years. Brand-new house.
“It cost around $175,000. In or around there. We ended up selling it to a friend of mine after renting it out for a few years.
“Are you married? Do you have kids? What are your financial circumstances? Your needs change. All these different variables enter into your decision making.”
“In hockey, until you establish yourself, even buying in the city you’re playing in at the time, you wonder just long how long you’ll be staying. There’s always that measure of uncertainty.”
Thankfully, that uncertainty didn’t last long for Patterson.
“A year after we purchased the Newmarket house, I signed another contract with Calgary and we bought a condo downtown a few months later, in the fall. This was at the height of foreclosures. Twelve-hundred square feet, a penthouse, in a place called the Manor House. Pretty sure it cost us $32,000 at the time.
“We had that condo for about two years then bought a spot in Midnapore.”
Among the best free-agent signings in franchise history, Patterson spent eight seasons in a Flames uniform as a key component of a do-it-all line alongside inspirational Doug Gilmour and goal-poaching Joe Mullen during the unforgettable Stanley Cup march of 1989. Two years later, after fighting through several injures, Patterson was dealt to the Buffalo Sabres.
In a sense, though, he never left Calgary. His ties to this city remain strong – he is a very active member of the Calgary Flames Alumni and currently works in energy services. Meanwhile, the Patterson family has grown to five over the years.
“Buying a house depends mostly on your time of life, right?’’ he said. “Are you married? Do you have kids? What are your financial circumstances? Your needs change. All these different variables enter into your decision making.
“One thing stays the same, though. Calgary’s home.”