Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter VI: 501-505

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Today on the Flames Countdown, we'll check out three centers and two right wingers.

505. Mark Smith

Smith, an Edmonton, Alberta native, was a 5'10", 200 lb. center born on October 24th, 1977. Starting with the 1994-95 season, he played four years in the WHL with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (252 games 75 goals, 133 assists, 415 PIM). The San Jose Sharks would select him after his first three season with Lethbridge, in the ninth round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, with the 219th overall pick.

Smith joined the Kentucky Thoroughblades after the conclusion of the 1997-98 season, for two playoff contests. The following two seasons were spent entirely with Kentucky (157 games, 39 goals, 66 assists, 254 PIM). The 2000-01 season would see him open the year up with the Sharks. Aside from 26 minor league games, Smith spent the next seven seasons with San Jose.

Smith played an average of just under 11 minutes per game throughout his time in San Jose spread mostly between the Sharks third and fourth line. He was a very quick player, an adept member of both the power play and the penalty kill, and an unlikely agitator. In 323 games with the Sharks, he totaled 22 goals with 44 assists and 398 penalty minutes.

The 2007 offseason would see Smith fail to make the New York Rangers out of training camp. Before the preseason ended, the Flames had locked him in to a free agent contract. He would appear in 54 games for Calgary. His first and only Flames goal occured on February 12th, in a 4-3 win against Smith's former team in San Jose. He also had three assists, 59 penalty minutes, and a minus-6 rating in just under seven minutes per game.

Here's Smith earning a paycheque.

Smith owns a clothing store with his wife in Campbell, California, and is also the singer and lead guitarist for the Vinyl Trees.

All-Time Statline: 54 games, one goal, three assists, 59 PIM, -0.31 point shares.

504. Brad Smith

Brad Smith, also known as "Motor City Smitty," was a 6'1", 195 lb. right winger from Windsor, Ontario. Born on April 13th, 1958, he first gained notice while skating in the OMJHL, between the Windsor Spitfires (90 games, 59 goals, 71 assists) and the Sudbury Wolves (46 games, 21 goals, 21 assists). The Vancouver Canucks selected him in the fourth round of the 1978 NHL Entry Draft, with the 57th overall pick.

1978-79 would see Smith send most of the season with the CHL's Dallas Black Hawks (60 games, 17 goals, 18 assists), also making his first NHL appearance with two games in Vancouver. He spent most of the following season back in Dallas (51 games, 26 goals, 16 assists), also appearing 19 times with the Canucks (one goal, three assists, 50 PIM). The Canucks traded him to the Atlanta Flames with Don Lever for Ivan Boldirev and Darcy Rota on February 8th. Smith closed out the season with no points, a plus-1 rating, and four penalty minutes in four games with the Flames.

Smith broke camp with the newly-located Calgary Flames in 1980-81. He played in 45 games for the Flames, with seven goals, four assists, 65 penalty minutes and a minus-8 rating. He also scored five goals with six assists in 10 games with the CHL's Birmingham Bulls before Calgary traded him to the Detroit Red Wings for future considerations (Rick Vasco) on February 24th.

Smith went on to play in parts of five seasons in Detroit (63 games, 10 goals, three assists, minus-22 rating, 214 PIM). He later appeared for two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs (89 games, 10 goals, 24 assists, plus-7 rating, 256 PIM). He is currently the director of Player Personnel for the Colorado Avalanche.

All-Time Statline: 49 games, seven goals, four assists, 69 PIM, -0.30 point shares.

503. Craig Ferguson

Ferguson was a 5'11", 190 lb. center from Castro Valley, California. Born on April 8th, 1970, he played four seasons of collegiate hockey with Yale. He scored 37 times with 45 assists in 108 games for the Bulldogs, earning 116 penalty minutes. While still in college, the Montreal Canadiens acquired his rights in the seventh round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft with the 146th overall pick.

Before appearing with Calgary, Ferguson played with the AHL's Fredericton Canadiens (202 games, 71 goals, 80 assists, 142 penalty minutes), the ECHL's Wheeling Thunderbirds (nine games, six goals, five assists, 24 PIM), and the parent club in Montreal (13 games, one goal, one assist, two PIM). On November 26th, 1995, Montreal traded Ferguson to Calgary with Yves Sarault for an eighth round pick.

After joining the Flames organization, Ferguson reported directly to Calgary to play with the Flames. He appeared in eight, failing to score any points and racking up four penalty minutes and a minus-4 rating. He averaged a point per game in the AHL with the Saint John Flames, with five goals and 13 assists in 18 contests. The Flames traded him to the Los Angeles Kings on February 10th for Pat Conacher. he tallied six goals and nine assists in 31 games to close out the season with the Phoenix Roadrunners.

The Florida Panthers picked up Ferguson during the offseason. For the Panthers, he played in 260 minor league contests between the Louisville Panthers and the Beast of New Haven. He played in six games for Florida, earning a minus-3 rating and no points. He would later play in Swiss and German leagues.

All-Time Statline: Eight games, zero goals, zero assists, four PIM, -0.29 point shares.

502. Bobby Gould

Gould, born September 2nd, 1957, was a 5'11", 190 lb. right winger from Petrolia, Ontario. He played four seasons of collegiate hockey with the University of New Hampshire (135 games, 91 goals, 101 assists). After his Sophomore season with the Wildcats (1977), he was selected in both the NHL (seventh round, Atlanta Flames, 118th overall) and the WHA (eighth round, Calgary Cowboys, 70th overall).

After graduating with the Class of 1979, Gould joined the Flames CHL affiliate, the Birmingham Bulls for 79 games, scoring 27 goals with 33 assists. He also made his first NHL appearance, playing in one contest for Atlanta. In 1980-81, he played a little with the Fort Worth Texans (18 games, eight goals, six assists), a little with the recently moved Calgary Flames (three games), and a lot with Birmingham (58 games, 25 goals, 25 assists). He made a much more pronounced impact with Calgary in their first playoff appearance as the newly christened Calgary Flames, scoring three goals and an assist in 11 contests.

Gould played in 16 games with the 1981-82 Flames, scoring three times with four penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating. On November 25th, the Flames traded him to the Washington Capitals with Randy Holt for Pat Ribble and a second round draft pick (Todd Francis). He was a mainstay in the US Capital, playing in parts of eight seasons for the Caps. He scored 134 points with 142 assists in 600 games. His last NHL season was 1989-90, with the Boston Bruins (77 games, eight goals, 17 assists).

Gould is best known for taking out Mario Lemieux.

All-Time Statline: 20 games, three goals, zero assists, four PIM, -0.29 point shares.

501. Eric Charron

Charron was a 6', 194 lb. defenseman. Born on January 14th, 1970 in Verdun, Quebec, he first played 105 contests with Trois Rivieres Draveurs in the QMJHL, scoring five goals with 29 assists and 246 PIM over two seasons. He was chosen in the first round of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens with the 20th overall pick. He played another two seasons of junior hockey, tabbing 15 goals with 53 assists in 96 games between the Verdun Junior Canadiens and the St. Hyacinthe Lasers.

Charron played a lot of time in the minor leagues, totaling 539 contests between the Sherbrooke Canadiens (one game), the Fredericton Canadiens (184 games, six goals, 35 assists), the Atlanta Knights (77 games, five goals, 20 assists), the Portland Pirates (74 games, six goals, 16 assists), the Saint John Flames (143 games, 20 goals, 37 assists), and the Cleveland Lumberjacks (60 games, nine goals, 10 assists). He also made a total of 130 NHL games.

Three of those games happened for the 1992-93 Canadiens. He then played 63 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning over a three year period (one goal, four assists) and 29 games for the Washington Capitals over two seasons (one goal, two assists). Just before the 1997-98 season, the Caps traded him to the Flames for a seventh round draft pick (Nathan Forster).

Charron accrued 55 penalty minutes and a minus-9 rating over 35 contests for the Flames. His appearances, spread over three seasons, yielded a grand total of one assist. That came in a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on April 9th, 1999. He later played professionally in Greece, Germany, Russia, and Quebec.

All-Time Statline: 35 games, zero goals, one assist, 55 penalty minutes, -0.29 point shares.

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