Calgary Flames

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Calgary Flames
2013–14 Calgary Flames season
ConferenceWestern
DivisionPacific
Founded1972
HistoryAtlanta Flames
19721980
Calgary Flames
1980–present
Home arenaScotiabank Saddledome
CityCalgary, Alberta
WCP-Uniform-CGY.png
ColoursRed, gold, black, white

                   

MediaSportsnet West
CFAC (Sportsnet 960 The Fan)
Owner(s)Calgary Flames LP
(N. Murray Edwards, chairman)
General managerBrian Burke (interim)
Head coachBob Hartley
CaptainMark Giordano
Minor league affiliatesAbbotsford Heat (AHL)
Alaska Aces (ECHL)
Stanley Cups1 (1988–89)
Conference championships3 (1985–86, 1988–89, 2003–04)
Presidents' Trophies2 (1987–88, 1988–89)
Division championships5 (1985–86, 1988–89, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2005–06)
Official websiteflames.nhl.com
 
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Calgary Flames
2013–14 Calgary Flames season
ConferenceWestern
DivisionPacific
Founded1972
HistoryAtlanta Flames
19721980
Calgary Flames
1980–present
Home arenaScotiabank Saddledome
CityCalgary, Alberta
WCP-Uniform-CGY.png
ColoursRed, gold, black, white

                   

MediaSportsnet West
CFAC (Sportsnet 960 The Fan)
Owner(s)Calgary Flames LP
(N. Murray Edwards, chairman)
General managerBrian Burke (interim)
Head coachBob Hartley
CaptainMark Giordano
Minor league affiliatesAbbotsford Heat (AHL)
Alaska Aces (ECHL)
Stanley Cups1 (1988–89)
Conference championships3 (1985–86, 1988–89, 2003–04)
Presidents' Trophies2 (1987–88, 1988–89)
Division championships5 (1985–86, 1988–89, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2005–06)
Official websiteflames.nhl.com

The Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The club is the third major-professional ice hockey team to represent the city of Calgary, following the Calgary Tigers (1921–27) and Calgary Cowboys (1975–77). The Flames are one of two NHL franchises in Alberta, the other being the Edmonton Oilers. The cities' proximity has led to a rivalry known as the Battle of Alberta. Games between the teams are often heated events.[1][2]

The team was founded in 1972 in Atlanta, Georgia as the Atlanta Flames until relocating to Calgary in 1980. The Flames played their first three seasons in Calgary at the Stampede Corral before moving into their current home arena, the Scotiabank Saddledome (originally known as the Olympic Saddledome), in 1983. In 1985–86, the Flames became the first Calgary team since the 1923–24 Tigers to compete for the Stanley Cup. In 1988–89, the Flames won their first and only championship. The Flames' unexpected run to the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals gave rise to the Red Mile, and in 2011 the team hosted and won the second Heritage Classic outdoor game.

The Flames have won two Presidents' Trophies as the league's top regular season team, and have claimed five division championships. Individually, Jarome Iginla is the franchise leader in games played, goals, and points, and is a two-time winner of the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal scorer. Miikka Kiprusoff has the most wins by a goaltender in a Calgary Flames uniform. Nine people associated with the Flames have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Off the ice, the Flames own a Western Hockey League franchise (the Calgary Hitmen), a National Lacrosse League franchise (the Calgary Roughnecks) and a CFL franchise (the Calgary Stampeders). They also lend their name to a bar and entertainment centre called Flames Central on Stephen Avenue in Downtown Calgary. Through the Flames Foundation, the team has donated more than $32 million to charity throughout southern Alberta since the franchise arrived.

Franchise history[edit]

Atlanta Flames[edit]

The Flames were the result of the NHL's first pre-emptive strike against the upstart World Hockey Association (WHA).[3] In December 1971, the NHL hastily granted a team to Long Island—the New York Islanders —to keep the WHA's New York Raiders out of the brand new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Needing another team to balance the schedule, the NHL awarded a team to an Atlanta-based group that owned the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks, headed by prominent local real estate developer Tom Cousins.[4] Cousins named the team the "Flames" after the fire resulting from the March to the Sea in the American Civil War by General William Tecumseh Sherman, in which Atlanta was nearly destroyed. They played home games in the Omni Coliseum in downtown Atlanta.[5]

Tom Lysiak celebrates with teammates after a goal against the Colorado Rockies in 1978

The Flames were relatively successful early on. Under head coaches Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Fred Creighton and Al MacNeil, the Flames made the playoffs in six of eight seasons in Atlanta.[6] In marked contrast, their expansion cousins, the Islanders, won only 31 games during their first two years in the league combined.[7] This relative success did not carry over to the playoffs, however, as the Flames won only two post-season games during their time in Atlanta.[8]

Despite the on-ice success, the Atlanta ownership was never on sound financial footing. Longtime general manager Cliff Fletcher said years later that Cousins' initial financial projections for an NHL team did not account for the WHA entering the picture.[9] The Flames were also a poor draw, and never signed a major television contract.[5]

In 1980, Cousins was in considerable financial difficulty and was forced to sell the Flames to stave off bankruptcy. With few serious offers from local groups, he was very receptive to an offer from a group of Calgary businessmen fronted by Canadian entrepreneur (and former Oilers owner) Nelson Skalbania.[5] A last-ditch effort to keep the team in Atlanta fell short, and Cousins sold the team to Skalbania for US$16 million, a record sale price for an NHL team at the time.[9] On May 21, 1980, Skalbania announced that the team would move to Calgary.[10] He chose to retain the Flames name, feeling it would be a good fit for an oil town like Calgary, while the flaming "A" logo was replaced by a flaming "C".[11] Skalbania sold his interest in 1981, and the Flames have been locally owned since.[12]

1980–1985[edit]

The Flames moved into the Olympic Saddledome (now Scotiabank Saddledome) in 1983

Unlike the WHA's Calgary Cowboys, who folded three years earlier, the Flames were immediately embraced by the city of Calgary. While the Cowboys could manage to sell only 2,000 season tickets in their final campaign of 1976–77, the Flames sold 10,000 full- and half-season ticket packages in the 7,000 seat Stampede Corral.[13]

Led by Kent Nilsson's 49-goal, 131-point season, the Flames qualified for the playoffs in their first season in Calgary with a 39–27–14 record, good for third in the Patrick Division.[14] The team found much greater playoff success in Calgary than it did in Atlanta, winning their first two playoff series over the Chicago Black Hawks and Philadelphia Flyers before bowing out to the Minnesota North Stars in the semi-finals.[15] This early success was not soon repeated. After a losing record in 1981–82, Fletcher jettisoned several holdovers from the Atlanta days who could not adjust to the higher-pressure hockey environment and rebuilt the roster.[9][16] Over the next three seasons, he put together a core of players that would remain together through the early 1990s.

Fletcher's efforts to match the Oilers led him to draw talent from areas previously neglected by the NHL. The Flames were among the earliest teams to sign large numbers of U.S. college players, including Joel Otto, Gary Suter, and Colin Patterson.[17] Fletcher also stepped up the search for European hockey talent, acquiring Hakan Loob and other key players. He was among the first to draft players from the Soviet Union, including HC CSKA Moscow star Sergei Makarov in 1983, but Soviet players were not released to Western teams until 1989.[18] Still, the team was sufficiently improved to challenge the Oilers, who required the maximum seven games to defeat the Flames en route to their 1984 Stanley Cup Championship.[19]

In 1983, the Flames moved into their new home, the Olympic Saddledome (now known as the Scotiabank Saddledome). Located on the grounds of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, the Saddledome was built as a venue for the 1988 Winter Olympics. In three seasons in the Corral, the Flames lost only 32 home games.[10] The Saddledome hosted the 37th NHL All-Star Game in 1985, a 6–4 victory by the Wales Conference.[20]

1985–1990[edit]

The players acquired by Fletcher matured into one of the strongest teams in the league during the mid-1980s and early 1990s. From 1984–85 to 1990–91, the Flames tallied 90 points in every season but one.[21] However, they were usually unable to transform that success into a deep playoff run, largely because they could not get the better of their provincial rivals, the powerhouse Oilers. Although the Oilers and Flames usually finished at or near the top of the Campbell Conference, the NHL's playoff structure of the time made it very likely that the Flames would meet the Oilers in either the first or second round, rather than in Campbell Conference finals.[9] That same structure made it very likely that the other two playoff qualifiers in the Smythe Division would have to get past the Flames or Oilers (or both) in order to make it to the conference finals.[22] From 1983 until 1990, either the Oilers or the Flames represented the Campbell Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals.[23]

Introduced in 1983, Harvey the Hound was the NHL's first mascot

By 1986 the Flames landed forwards Doug Risebrough, Lanny McDonald, and Dan Quinn, defenceman Al MacInnis, and goaltender Mike Vernon. Finishing second in the Smythe with a 40–31–9 record (the only season from 1984 to 1991 in which they did not finish with 90 or more points),[14] the Flames swept the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the playoffs,[19] setting up a showdown with the Oilers. Edmonton finished 30 points ahead of Calgary during the season, and was heavily favoured to win a third Cup in a row. However, the Flames upset the Oilers in seven games—the only time that the Flames defeated the Oilers in a playoff series during the decade. The series-winning goal came when an errant clearing attempt by Steve Smith ricocheted off goaltender Grant Fuhr's leg and into his own net.[24] The goal remains one of the most legendary blunders in hockey history.[25][26][27]

From there, the Flames went on to the Campbell Conference Finals, where they defeated the St. Louis Blues in another seven-game series. This time, Calgary had to survive a scare of its own, shaking off the Monday Night Miracle at the St. Louis Arena. Trailing by a score of 5–2 with 10 minutes to play in the third period of Game 6, the Blues mounted a furious comeback to send the contest into overtime, where Doug Wickenheiser scored to force a deciding seventh game.[28] Calgary would win Game 7 at home, 2–1, advancing into the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time.[19] The Flames proved to be no match for the Montreal Canadiens, losing the championship series in five games. Montreal rookie goaltender Patrick Roy was nearly unbeatable in the last two games, allowing only four goals en route to winning the Conn Smythe Trophy.

The Flames followed up their run to the Finals with their best regular season to that point. Calgary's 46–31–3 record in 1986–87 was good for third overall in the NHL, behind the Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers.[29] However, the Flames were unable to duplicate their playoff success of a year prior, losing their first round match-up with the Jets in six games. The season was also difficult off the ice, as 1986 first round draft pick George Pelawa was killed in a car accident prior to the season's start.[30]

The Flames recorded their first 100-point season in 1987–88, earning the Presidents' Trophy for having the league's best record and ending the Oilers' six-year reign atop the Smythe Division in the process.[31] Joe Nieuwendyk became the second rookie in league history to score 50+ goals, earning the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year.[32] Looking to bolster the line-up for a playoff run, the Flames dealt young sniper Brett Hull, along with Steve Bozek, to the Blues for Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley on March 7, 1988.[33] Their playoff frustrations continued, however, after defeating the Los Angeles Kings in five games, Calgary was swept out of the playoffs in four straight by the Oilers.[19]

Four rectangular banners are hanging from the rafters in a hockey arena. The two on the far left are predominantly white with red and gold trim. The left one of these says "1981–1989 McDONALD 9" and the right "1982–2002 VERNON 30". On the right side of them, two more banners are shown. Both are mainly red, each showing (from top to bottom) a number, then a red banner with gold trim showing a name, and lastly a person in full hockey gear, who is shown wearing a white jersey with red trim and a white helmet. The left one of these says "2 MacINNIS", while the right one says "25 NIEUWENDYK".
Lanny McDonald and Mike Vernon are the only two Flames to have their numbers retired by the team, while Al MacInnis and Joe Nieuwendyk have had their numbers honoured by the team (they are still in circulation) as part of the Flames' "Forever a Flame" program.

In 1988–89, the Flames continued to improve. They captured their second consecutive Presidents' Trophy with a franchise record 117 points, finishing 26 points better than the second-place Kings in the Smythe Division.[34] Fletcher continued to tinker with the roster, acquiring Doug Gilmour as part of a six player deal at the trade deadline. In the playoffs, the Flames were stretched to seven games in the first round by the Vancouver Canucks. They relied on several saves by goaltender Mike Vernon, including a famous glove save off a Stan Smyl breakaway in overtime. The save remains a defining moment in Flames history.[35]

The Flames then made short work of the Kings, defeating them in four straight, before eliminating the Chicago Blackhawks in five games to set up a rematch of the 1986 Stanley Cup Finals against Montreal. This time, the Flames won in six games, the last being a 4–2 victory in Montreal on May 25, 1989.[19] The clinching win was especially significant in that it marked the only time that an opposing team defeated the Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup on Montreal Forum ice.[36] Al MacInnis captured the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs most valuable player,[37] while long-time captain Lanny McDonald announced his retirement.[36] The 1989 Stanley Cup win gave Flames co-owner Sonia Scurfield the distinction of being the first (and to date, only) Canadian woman to have her name engraved on the Cup. It also made another Flames co-owner, former Calgary Stampeders great Norman Kwong, one of the few to have his name on both the Stanley Cup and the Grey Cup.

In 1989, thanks in part to Cliff Fletcher's diplomatic efforts, the Soviets gave permission for a select group of Soviet hockey players to sign with NHL teams. The first of these players was Sergei Pryakhin. Although Pryakhin never became an NHL regular, his arrival blazed a trail for the large number of Russian players who entered the NHL beginning in 1989–90.[18] Sergei Makarov joined the Flames that season and, though already in his thirties, became the fifth Flame to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's Rookie of the Year. The selection would prove controversial, prompting the league to amend the rules to exclude any player over the age of 26 from future consideration. That season, the team fell two points shy of their third straight Presidents' Trophy with 99 points. Also that season, they won their third straight Smythe Division title. In the playoffs, they were dethroned in six games by the Los Angeles Kings. They would not win another playoff series until 2004—one of the longest such droughts in NHL history.[38]

1991–2003[edit]

Calgary's alternate logo, 1998–2007

In 1991, Fletcher left the Flames to become the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had been the team's general manager since its inception in 1972.[39] He was succeeded in Calgary by Doug Risebrough, and the two quickly completed a ten player mega-trade that saw disgruntled forward Doug Gilmour dealt to Toronto with four other players for former 50 goal scorer Gary Leeman and four others.[33] The trade transformed both clubs. The formerly inept Leafs turned into a contender almost immediately, while Leeman scored only eleven goals in a Flames uniform.[40] Despite the blossoming of Theoren Fleury into an NHL star, the Flames missed the playoffs entirely in 1992, only a year after finishing with their third 100-point season in franchise history. It was the first time the Flames had missed the playoffs since 1975, when they were still in Atlanta. It was also only the third time out of the playoffs in the franchise's 20-year history.[19]

Calgary rebounded to make the playoffs for the next four seasons, including two consecutive division titles. However, they were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs each time. The 1994 and 1995 Division titles led to Game 7 overtime home defeats in the opening round to the Canucks and San Jose Sharks respectively. In the 1995–96 season, Nieuwendyk was traded to the Dallas Stars in a deal that acquired Jarome Iginla. Iginla would make his Flames debut in the 1996 postseason during which the Flames again lost in the first round, a four game sweep by the Blackhawks. In 1997, only two years after winning their second consecutive division title, the Flames missed the playoffs and would not return for seven years.[19] The low point came in the 1997–98 season, in which the Flames finished with only 67 points, the second-lowest point total in franchise history (behind only the 1972-73 Atlanta Flames).[41]

The performance of Jarome Iginla was one of the team's few bright spots during its seven-year playoff drought

During this time, the Flames found it increasingly difficult to retain their best players as salaries escalated while the Canadian dollar lost value against the American dollar.[42] Calgary has always been one of the smallest markets in the league (it is currently third-smallest, behind only Edmonton and Winnipeg) and the NHL's small-market Canadian teams found it increasingly difficult to compete in the new environment.[43] In 1999, for example, the Flames traded Fleury to the Colorado Avalanche midway through the season.[33] The trade came shortly after Fleury became the franchise's all-time leading scorer.[44] Fleury was due to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and the Flames did not want to risk losing him without getting anything in return.[45]

As the Flames sank in the standings, their attendance also sagged. For most of their first 16 years in Calgary, Flames tickets were among the toughest to get in the NHL. However, by 1999, attendance had fallen off so severely that the owners issued an ultimatum: buy more season tickets or the team would join its departed counterparts in Winnipeg and Quebec City in leaving for the United States. The fans responded by buying enough season tickets to keep the Flames in Calgary for the 1999–2000 season.[9] The Flames issued another appeal for more season tickets in the summer of 2000.[46] The campaign, aimed at increasing season ticket sales from a franchise low of 8,700 to 14,000, proved successful.[47] The increased sales did not halt the Flames' financial losses, however, as the team estimated it lost $14.5 million between 2001 and 2003.[42]

One of the few bright spots in this stretch was Iginla, who captured the Rocket Richard and Art Ross Trophies in 2001–02 as NHL goal- and point-scoring champion after scoring 52 goals and 96 points. Iginla again won the Rocket Richard Trophy, tied with Rick Nash and Ilya Kovalchuk, with 41 goals in 2003–04.[48] Another bright spot for the team during this time was defenceman Robyn Regehr who became the youngest nominee ever for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which recognizes perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Regehr had suffered two broken legs in a car accident the summer of 1999, but recovered in time to play 57 games at the age of 19.[49]

During the 2002–03 season, the Flames hired Darryl Sutter as the team's head coach, replacing Greg Gilbert, who was fired as the Flames languished in last place in the Western Conference.[50] Sutter also became the team's general manager following the season, and is credited with revitalizing the franchise.[51] Among Sutter's first moves was to acquire goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, whom he had previously coached in San Jose, early in the 2003-04 season.[52] Kiprusoff responded by setting a modern NHL record for lowest goals against average at 1.69.[53]

2004–2010[edit]

After seven consecutive seasons of not making the playoffs, the Flames finally returned to the post-season in 2004. They became the first team in league history to defeat three division champions en route to becoming the first Canadian team to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals since the Canucks in 1994.[54] The Flames' first victim was the Northwest Division champion Vancouver Canucks, whom they defeated in seven games. It was the Flames' first playoff series win since they won the 1989 final.[55]

Miikka Kiprusoff won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender in 2005–06.

The Flames then upset the Presidents' Trophy winning Detroit Red Wings in six games. After eliminating the Pacific Division champion Sharks, also in six games, in the Western Conference Final, the Flames earned a trip to the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals to face the Tampa Bay Lightning. Martin Gelinas scored the winning goal in all three series. The Canadian Embassy in Washington DC, flew the Flames flag beside the Maple Leaf,[56] while Prime Minister Paul Martin dubbed the Flames "Canada's team".[57]

The final series went to seven games, with the Flames suffering a controversial non-goal in game six at home. Replays showed that Martin Gelinas may have scored what would have been the go-ahead goal late in the third period; however, the referees never signaled a goal, and later replays were ruled inconclusive. This goal could have made Gelinas the only player in NHL history to score the winning goal in every playoff series en route to winning the Stanley Cup. The Lightning would go on to win the game in double overtime,[58] before winning game seven at home to capture the Stanley Cup. Despite the loss, 30,000 fans packed into Olympic Plaza to celebrate the Flames run.[59]

The Flames would not raise their Western Conference championship banner for nearly 15 months, as the 2004–05 season was wiped out by a labour dispute. During the lockout, team owner and Chairman of the Board, Harley Hotchkiss, attempted to save the season by engaging in discussions with National Hockey League Players Association president Trevor Linden.[60] While their discussions failed to save the season, Hotchkiss was credited with easing tensions that allowed for a successful negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement.[61]

The Flames played their 25th season in Calgary in 2005–06, finishing with 103 points. It was their best total since the 1989 Cup winning season, and good enough to capture their first division title in 12 years. However, the Flames lost to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in seven games during the first round of the playoffs. Miikka Kiprusoff captured both the William M. Jennings and Vezina Trophies as the NHL's top goaltender,[62] while Dion Phaneuf's 20 goals was the third highest total for a rookie defenceman in league history.[63]

The 2006 off-season began with a trade for Alex Tanguay, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche,[64] and with Sutter relinquishing his head coaching position to assistant Jim Playfair so he could focus on his duties as general manager.[65] Despite a marked improvement in team offence and a solid 96-point season, it was only good enough for eighth place in a Western Conference where seven teams cracked the 100-point barrier. In the playoffs, Calgary fell in six games to the top seeded Red Wings in the first round. During the series, the Flames were fined by the NHL for several stick-related penalties in the fifth game. Notably, backup goaltender Jamie McLennan was suspended five games for slashing Red Wings forward Johan Franzen.[66] Franzen would score the series clinching goal in the Game 6 defeat in Double Overtime.

Prior to the start of the 2007–08 season, the Flames demoted Playfair to associate coach, bringing in Mike Keenan as the team's third head coach in three years.[67] During the season, Jarome Iginla became the Flames' all-time leader in games played, passing Al MacInnis' mark of 803. Iginla also passed Theoren Fleury's mark of 364 goals to become the Flames all-time goal scoring leader on March 10, 2008. Despite another solid season, with 94 points, they only garnered the seventh seed in the Western Conference. They fell in the Western Conference quarterfinals to the Pacific Division champion Sharks in seven games.[68] Iginla continued to set franchise records in 2008–09, surpassing Fleury's franchise mark of 830 points, and scoring his 400th goal on the same night against the Lightning.[69] The team failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs, resulting in the dismissal of head coach Mike Keenan after two seasons. Brent Sutter was named his successor on June 23, 2009, but the Flames failed to qualify for the playoffs in the 2009–10 season.[70]

2011–present[edit]

The Flames and Canadiens line up for a faceoff at the 2011 Heritage Classic

The Flames struggled to begin the 2010–11 NHL season, falling to 14th place in the conference at the Christmas break. Consequently, the organization asked Darryl Sutter to step aside as general manager. The team named assistant Jay Feaster the interim general manager in his place,[71] making it permanent following the season.[72] The team pulled itself back into playoff contention following the change, but once again failed to qualify for the post-season.[73]

Calgary hosted the 2011 Heritage Classic, the NHL's second outdoor game of the year, at McMahon Stadium on February 22, 2011. The Flames defeated the Canadiens 4–0 before 41,022 specators. Miikka Kiprusoff became the first goaltender to record a shutout in an NHL outdoor game.[74] Jarome Iginla reached two major milestones late in the season. He became the 10th player in NHL history to score at least 30 goals in ten consecutive seasons,[75] and scored his 1,000th career point, all with the Flames, with a goal against the St. Louis Blues on April 1.[76] Iginla also scored his 500th career goal on January 7, 2012, against the Minnesota Wild. He scored the goal against goaltender Niklas Backstrom en route to a 3-1 Flames victory.[77] On March 27, 2013, longtime captain and player Jarome Iginla was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for prospects Kenneth Agostino and Ben Hanowski and a first-round pick in 2013 (Morgan Klimchuk), leaving the team without a captain for the first time since the end of the 2002–2003 season.[78]

Community impact[edit]

Flames Central is a downtown restaurant and bar owned by the Flames.

In 1994, the Flames approached the Saddledome Foundation with a proposal to renovate the Olympic Saddledome, rename it the Canadian Airlines Saddledome and take over management of the facility. The board agreed to this proposal, and was bought out by the Flames for $20 million as the team signed a 20-year agreement to manage the building.[79]

Looking to fill extra dates in the Saddledome, the Flames agreed to a lease deal with the expansion Calgary Hitmen of the junior Western Hockey League who began play in 1995 and were partly owned by Theoren Fleury.[80] Two years later, in 1997, the Flames bought the team for $1.5 million.[81] During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, the Flames heavily marketed the Hitmen, and as a result, the team led all professional or junior hockey teams in North America in attendance, averaging over 10,000 fans per game.[82]

In April 2006, the Flames announced that they would be opening a hybrid restaurant, bar and entertainment facility in downtown Calgary on Stephen Avenue. In announcing the venture, Flames' President and CEO Ken King stated: "While hockey remains our core competency, we are constantly seeking new opportunities in which to grow the Flames brand and allow our fans greater opportunities to enjoy hockey. We believe establishing a location outside of the Pengrowth Saddledome to share food, fun and hockey will bring our fans even closer to the team."[83] One year later, in April 2007, Flames Central opened to the public.[84]

Flames Foundation[edit]

The Flames have maintained an active presence in the community since their arrival in Calgary. Through the team's non-profit charity, the Flames Foundation, the team has donated over $32 million to causes throughout southern Alberta.[85] Along with the Rotary Club, the Flames are helping to fund the first children's hospice in Alberta, and one of only six in North America.[86]

The Flames are also close partners with the Alberta Children's Hospital and the Gordon Townsend School housed within. Among the many activities the Flames participate in, the Wheelchair Hockey Challenge with the Townsend Tigers has remained a highly popular tradition for both the players and the children involved. In 2010, the Tigers defeated the Flames to move to a perfect 27–0 record since the challenge was first instituted in 1981.[87]

Red Mile[edit]

During the Flames' run to the Stanley Cup Finals of 2004, the city of Calgary essentially became the host of a "non-stop party". The 17th Avenue SW entertainment district, which runs west from the ScotiaBank Saddledome, saw as many as 35,000 fans pack the streets during the first three rounds of the playoffs,[42] and over 60,000 in the finals.[88] The Red Mile party received coverage in many newspapers across North America,[89] as the parties remained peaceful and incidents were minimal despite the large number of people in a small area.[90]

The C of Red

In April 2006, the Calgary Police Service announced that Red Mile gatherings would not be encouraged, and that measures would be taken to discourage them, including traffic diversions, a zero-tolerance policy on noise and rowdy behaviour, and the presence of plain-clothed officers among the crowd to ticket offenders.[91] After meeting with the Chief of Police, Mayor Dave Bronconnier convinced the Calgary Police Service to relax their ban on the "Red Mile" and encouraged people to make their way to 17th Ave, however the police retained their zero-tolerance policy on public nudity and drunkenness.[90]

"C of Red"[edit]

During the Flames' run to the Stanley Cup Finals of 2004, most of the Flames fans attending the hockey games at the Saddledome wore a red jersey with Calgary's flaming C on it.[42] Sales of the Flames red home jersey, introduced at the start of the 2003–04 campaign, were so strong during the playoffs that manufacturer CCM stopped production on all other team jerseys in order to keep up with demand of Flames uniforms.[88] The team set a league record for sales of a new uniform design.[92] The tradition of the C of Red dates back to the 1986 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Oilers. Oiler fans were donning hats promoting "Hat Trick Fever" in their quest for three straight Stanley Cups. Flames fans countered by wearing red. In the 1987 playoffs against Winnipeg, the Jets responded to the C of Red by encouraging fans to wear white, creating the "Winnipeg White Out".[93]

Team colours and mascot[edit]

[edit]

Original jerseys, used 1980–1994

The Flames primary logo is the "Flaming C" design, introduced when the team came to Calgary in 1980, and was designed by a Calgarian graphic designer named Patricia Redditt. The design of the logo has remained constant since it was created, though the Flames use a different coloured logo for the home and away jerseys. From 1980 until 2000, the home logo was red on a white background, while the road logo was white on a red background. In 2003, the NHL switched to using coloured jerseys for the home team. The home logo became black, with the road logo red on a white background. The original "Flaming A" logo of the Atlanta Flames has been restored for use as a patch denoting the team's alternate captains. The flaming horse logo was retired in 2007 with the introduction of the new Rbk Edge jerseys.[94]

Jerseys[edit]

Second design, used 1995–2000

The Flames' original jerseys used red and yellow striping. In 1994, the Flames added black to the team's colour scheme, while also adding a diagonal stripe from the base of the jersey to below the logo. In 1998, to celebrate the "Year of the Cowboy", the Flames introduced their third jersey design, the "flaming horse" logo on a black background.[10] Two years later, the jersey became the Flames road jersey, while the home jersey was updated to incorporate the same V-style striping on the arms and waist of the jersey. This jersey was once again relegated to third jersey status in 2003 when the NHL adopted the coloured jerseys for the home team.[95] In 2007, with the introduction of the Rbk Edge jersey, the Flames updated their look once again, replacing the horizontal striping with vertical striping down the sides. To honour the team's heritage, the Flames added the flags of Alberta and Canada as shoulder patches.[94] In celebration of their 30th season in Calgary, the Flames wore their original jersey design for five games in 2009–10, each against a Canadian opponent. The Flames changed the design of their home and away socks to match their classic jersey's socks in their 30th season. The Flames wore their alternate throwback jersey 15 times during the 2010-11 season. The jersey fit like the rest of the RbkEdge jerseys and was made of the same materials as their home/away jersey(s). In the same year, the Flames played the Canadiens in the 2011 Heritage Classic, wearing jerseys loosely based on the 1920.Calgary Tigers They carry a burgundy/ red type colour and yellow. The Flames sign is over a yellow background and the arm sleeves are red/burgundy and yellow stripes.

Mascot[edit]

Harvey the Hound is the Flames' mascot. He was created in 1983 to serve both with the Flames and the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.[96] Harvey was the first mascot in the NHL.[96] Harvey is famous for an incident in January 2003 where he had his tongue ripped out by Edmonton Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish as he was harassing their bench.[97] The incident made headlines throughout North America and led to much humour, including having many other NHL team mascots arrive at the 2003 All-Star Game with their tongues hanging out.[98]

Season-by-season record[edit]

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Flames. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Calgary Flames seasons

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

SeasonGPWLOTLPtsGFGAFinishPlayoffs
2008–098246306982542482nd, NorthwestLost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2–4 (Blackhawks)
2009–1082403210902042103rd, NorthwestDid not qualify
2010–1182412912942502372nd, NorthwestDid not qualify
2011–1282372916902022262nd, NorthwestDid not qualify
2012–134819254421281604th, NorthwestDid not qualify

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Updated March 27, 2014.[99][100]

#NatPlayerPosS/GAgeAcquiredBirthplace
51United StatesAgostino, KennyKenny AgostinoLWL212013Morristown, New Jersey
11SwedenBacklund, MikaelMikael BacklundCL252007Västerås, Sweden
17CanadaBouma, LanceLance BoumaCL242008Provost, Alberta
7CanadaBrodie, T. J.T. J. BrodieDL232008Chatham, Ontario
44United StatesButler, ChrisChris ButlerDR272011St. Louis, Missouri
32CanadaByron, PaulPaul ByronCL242011Ottawa, Ontario
13CanadaCammalleri, MichaelMichael Cammalleri (A)LWL312012Richmond Hill, Ontario
8CanadaColborne, JoeJoe ColborneCL242013Calgary, Alberta
39United StatesGaliardi, T. J.T. J. GaliardiLWL252013Calgary, Alberta
5CanadaGiordano, MarkMark Giordano (C)DL302004Toronto, Ontario
20CanadaGlencross, CurtisCurtis Glencross (A)LWL312008Kindersley, Saskatchewan
60FinlandGranlund, MarkusMarkus Granlund Injured ReserveCL202011Oulu, Finland
58United StatesHanowski, BenBen HanowskiRWL232013Little Falls, Minnesota
24Czech RepublicHudler, JiriJiri HudlerRWL302012Olomouc, Czechoslovakia
54CanadaJones, DavidDavid Jones Injured ReserveRWR292013Guelph, Ontario
35CanadaMacDonald, JoeyJoey MacDonaldGL342013Pictou, Nova Scotia
16CanadaMcGrattan, BrianBrian McGrattanRWR322013Hamilton, Ontario
23CanadaMonahan, SeanSean MonahanCL192013Brampton, Ontario
56CanadaWotherspoon, TylerTyler WotherspoonDL212011Burnaby, British Columbia
31FinlandRamo, KarriKarri RamoGL272012Asikkala, Finland
4CanadaRussell, KrisKris RussellDL262013Caroline, Alberta
3Czech RepublicSmid, LadislavLadislav SmidDL282013Frýdlant, Czechoslovakia
18CanadaStajan, MattMatt StajanCL302010Mississauga, Ontario
15CanadaWestgarth, KevinKevin WestgarthRWR302013Amherstburg, Ontario
6CanadaWideman, DennisDennis Wideman Injured ReserveDR312012Kitchener, Ontario


Honoured members[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

Calgary Flames retired numbers
No.PlayerPositionCareerNo. retirement
9Lanny McDonaldRight Wing1981-89March 17, 1990
30Mike VernonGoaltender1982–94, 2000-02February 7, 2007
A man in full hockey uniform and another man in a dark suit hold a gold hockey stick together as they look toward an unseen photographer.
Lanny McDonald presents Jarome Iginla with a gold stick. The pair are the only players to score their 500th career goal in a Flames uniform.

Several members of the Flames organization have been honoured by the Hockey Hall of Fame during the team's history in Calgary. Lanny McDonald was the first Flame player inducted, gaining election in 1992. McDonald recorded 215 goals in 492 games for the Flames, including a team record 66 goals in 1982–83. He was joined in 2000 by a fellow member of the 1989 Stanley Cup championship team, Joe Mullen. Mullen spent five seasons with the Flames, recording 388 points and capturing two Lady Byng Trophies. Grant Fuhr, elected in 2003, became the third former Flames player to enter the Hall. Fuhr played only one season in Calgary; however, he recorded his 400th career win in a Flames uniform, a victory over the Florida Panthers on October 22, 1999.[101] In 2007, Al MacInnis became the fourth former Flame inducted into the Hall, and the third to earn his Hall of Fame credentials primarily as a Flame. MacInnis was a member of the Flames from 1981 until 1994. He is best remembered for his booming slapshot, as well as for winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1989 as playoff MVP.[102] On November 9, 2009, Brett Hull became the fifth player in Calgary Flames history to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.[103] Hull was drafted 117th in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the Flames, and began his NHL career playing two seasons (1986–1988) with Calgary. On June 28, 2011, it was announced that former Flames forwards Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk would become the sixth and seventh members to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame in the players category.[104]

Former head coach "Badger" Bob Johnson joined McDonald in the class of 1992, gaining election as a builder. Johnson coached five seasons with the Flames from 1982–87, and his 193 wins remain a team record. Cliff Fletcher was the Flames general manager from the organization's inception in 1972 until 1991, a span of 19 years. During that time, the Flames qualified for the playoffs sixteen consecutive times between 1976 and 1991. Fletcher was inducted in 2004. In 2006, Harley Hotchkiss became the third Flames builder to gain election. Hotchkiss was the team's governor, and was an original member of the ownership group that purchased and brought the Flames to Calgary in 1980. He has served many years as the chairman of the NHL Board of Directors, during which he played a significant role in the resolution of the 2004–05 lockout.[101] Fellow original owner Doc Seaman was similarly inducted in 2010.[105]

Flames radio broadcaster Peter Maher was named the recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2006 for his years of service as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Calgary Flames. Maher has been the radio voice of the Flames since 1981, the team's second season in Calgary. He has called six All-Star Games and four Stanley Cup Finals.[101] Longtime trainer Bearcat Murray was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 by the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society and the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers.[106]

The Calgary Flames have retired two numbers, and a third was retired league-wide. The Flames retired #9 in honour of Lanny McDonald who played right wing for the Flames from 1981 to 1989, winning the Stanley Cup as the Flames' co-captain in his final year. Mike Vernon's #30 is also retired; he was a goaltender with the Flames for fourteen years, from 1982–94 and 2000-02.[107] Wayne Gretzky's #99 was retired league-wide in 2000.

In 2012, the Flames organization introduce "Forever A Flame" programme to honour those who played and represented the Calgary Flames without having to retire their numbers. It enables future Flames the opportunity to wear the numbers of some of the Flames all-time greats. On February 27, 2012, defenceman Al MacInnis was the first to earn this distinction, with a banner with his picture and the #2 number raised to the Scotiabank Saddledome rafters.[108] Joe Nieuwendyk followed him on March 7, 2014, promoted as "Forever 25" as both the number on Nieuwendyk's jersey and the 25th anniversary of the 1989 title.[109]

Team captains[edit]


Risebrough and McDonald were co-captains in 1983-84. Risebrough, McDonald and Peplinski were tri-captains 1984-87. McDonald and Peplinski were co-captains 1987-89.

Conroy and Boughner were co-captains for the latter half of 2001-02 after Dave Lowry was stripped of the captaincy.

Franchise scoring leaders[edit]

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; * = current Flames player

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Boer, Peter (2006). The Calgary Flames. Overtime Books. ISBN 1-897277-07-5. 
  • Hanlon, Peter and Kelso, Sean, ed. (2007). 2007–08 Calgary Flames Media Guide. Calgary Flames Hockey Club. 
  • Sandor, Steven (2005). The Battle of Alberta: A Century of Hockey's Greatest Rivalry. Heritage House. ISBN 1-894974-01-8. 
  • Zeman, Gary (1985). Alberta on Ice. GMS Ventures. ISBN 0-9692320-0-4. 
  • "Calgary Flames season statistics". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 

Footnotes[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]