Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter LII: 275-271

Joel Auerbach

Today's summary includes right winger Denis Cyr, defenseman Rod Seiling, left winger Rene Corbet, center Byron Ritchie, and current enforcer and bringer of truculence, Brian McGrattan.

275. Brian McGrattan

McGrattan, a Hamilton, Ontario native, was born on September 2nd, 1981. A 6’4", 235 lb. right winger, he played five seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League, starting in 1997-98. He split his time between the Guelph Storm (31 games, four goals, five assists, 26 PiM), the Sudbury Wolves (78 games, nine goals, 18 assists, 232 PiM), the Mississauga IceDogs (38 games, 22 goals, 12 assists, 99 PiM), the Owen Sound Attack (two games), the Oshawa Generals (25 games, 10 goals, five assists, 72 PiM), and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (26 games, eight goals, seven assists, 71 PiM). The Los Angeles Kings selected him in the fourth round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft with the 104th overall pick.

2002-03 would see McGrattan play professionally for the first time. He joined the Binghampton Senators for three full seasons (196 games, 25 goals, 22 assists, 1051 PiM). He earned an AHL record 551 penalty minutes in 2004-05 in 71 contests, averaging nearly eight minutes per game in the box. He would later play with the Ottawa Senators (142 games, two goals, eight assists, 287 PiM), the Phoenix Coyotes (five games, 22 PiM), and the San Antonio Rampage (one game).

During the 2009 offseason, McGrattan signed with the Flames through free agency. He scored one goal on 19 shots over 34 games for the club, earning three assists, with a team third-most 86 penalty minutes. He averaged 3:26 per game and rated a plus-3. On October 16th, he scored a goal, earned an assist, and spent five minutes in the penalty box as Calgary defeated the Vancouver Canucks, 5-3.

McGrattan left the club for the Boston Bruins after the season, but failed to make the NHL roster, spending the year instead between the Providence Bruins (39 games, four goals, one assist, 97 PiM) and after a trade, the Syracuse Crunch (20 games, six goals, four assists, 56 PiM). In 2011-12 and part of the following season, he played with the Nashville Predators (32 games, two assists, 61 PiM). The Preds sent him to the Flames for Joe Piskula on February 28th, 2013.

McGrattan, sometimes known by his friends as "Big Ern," scored three times on 18 shots in 19 games for the Flames to close out the 2012-13 season. He posted a minus-4 rating and earned 49 penalty minutes while playing 7:11 per game. On April 19th, he scored the game winner in a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

In 2013-14, McGrattan led the Flames with 100 penalty minutes. He lit the lamp four times on 79 shots with four assists and a minus-4 rating in 6:43 per game. He scored goals in consecutive games on March 8th and 10th, a 2-1 loss to the Canucks and a 3-2 loss to the Kings, respectively. He is signed with the Flames through the end of the 2014-15 season.

McGrattan has overcome a substance abuse problem, and is active in the NHL as a mentor for other players with similar issues, including former teammate Jordin Tootoo.

All-Time Statline: 129 games, eight goals, seven assists, minus-5 rating, 235 penalty minutes, 1.24 point shares.

274. Denis Cyr

Cyr, a 5’10", 180 lb. right winger from Verdun, Quebec, was born on February 4th, 1961. The Flames selected him in the first round of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft with the 13th overall pick.

Cyr, played four seasons in the QMJHL with the Montreal Juniors, where he lit the lamp 236 times with 227 helpers and 200 PiM in 269 appearances. After 57 games with the Juniors in 1980-81, he joined the Flames for 10 contests, scoring a goal on 10 shots with four assists, a plus-2 rating, and an zero penalty minutes.

Cyr spent 14 games with the CHL’s Oklahoma City Stars, scoring 10 goals and four assists in 1981-82. He spent the majority of his season with the Flames, playing 42 games with the parent club and scoring a dozen goals on 71 shots with 10 assists, a plus-5 rating, and 13 penalty minutes.

In 1982-83, Cyr played 11 games for the Flames, scoring a single goal on 15 shots with an assist, a plus-1 rating, and zero penalty minutes. The Flames traded him to the Chicago Blackhawks on November 2nd for Carey Wilson. He played in 87 games for Chicago, scoring 19 times with 21 assists over the next season and a half.

Cyr later played with the Springfield Indians (17 games, four goals, 13 assists), the Peoria Rivermen (177 games, 70 goals, 116 assists), and the St. Louis Blues (40 games, eight goals, seven assists).

All-Time Statline: 66 games, 14 goals, 15 assists, plus-8 rating, 13 penalty minutes, 1.25 point shares.

273. Rod Seiling

Seiling was a 6’, 182 lb. defenseman when he began his professional playing career with Toronto St. Michael’s in the Ontario Hockey Association in 1960-61. He would total 24 goals and 26 assists in 34 games while with the club.

The Elmira, Ontario native, born on November 14th, 1944, made a very slow and drawn out NHL debut. He played one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1962-63, and two with the New York Rangers in 1963-64, earning an assist with each. He would go on to play 976 more with various teams, mostly the Rangers.

1964-65 would technically be Seiling’s second season with the Rangers, but his first with over one game. He played with the team for the better part of 12 seasons, scoring 50 goals and 198 assists in 644 contests. He later played with the Washington Capitals (one game), the Toronto Maple Leafs (138 games, eight goals, 29 assists), and the St. Louis Blues (160 games, four goals, 38 assists).

Seiling also played with Team Canada:

On November 4th, 1978, the Blues traded Seiling to the Atlanta Flames for cash. He would close out the season and his NHL career that season, playing in 36 games for the Flames. The stay-at-home defenseman took 28 shots on goal, and assisted on only four markers all season. Despite his defense-first philosophy, he posted a plus-8 rating on the season, with only 12 penalty minutes. He would later play in two playoff games for the Flames.

Seiling was appointed Chair of the Ontario Racing Commission in 2006, where he still finds employment.

All-Time Statline: 36 games, zero goals, four assists, plus-8 rating, 12 penalty minutes, 1.32 point shares.

272. Rene Corbet

Corbet was a 6’, 198 lb. left winger from Victoriaville, Quebec. Born on June 25th, 1973, he was selected 24th overall in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, in the second round by the Quebec Nordiques.

Corbet first gained notice with the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs, totaling 250 goals and 159 assists in 164 games over three seasons. He averaged over two points per game as a 19-year-old in 1992-93, with 79 markers and 69 helpers in only 63 contests.

Corbet played his first two and a half professional seasons with Quebec’s organization. He scored one goal and four assists in 17 NHL games. Most of his time was spent with the Cornwall Aces (142 games, 75 goals, 70 assists, 145 PiM). He stayed with the club when they moved to Colorado and became the Avalanche, where he totaled 39 goals and 47 assists with 291 penalty minutes in 230 games. On February 28th, 1999, the Avs traded him with Wade Belak, Robyn Regehr and a second round pick (Jarret Stoll) to the Flames for Theoren Fleury and Chris Dingman.

Corbet started out his Flames career with four points in his first three games, and seven in his first seven. On March 9th, in his third game with the Flames, he scored two goals with an assist in a win over the St. Louis Blues, 7-4. He scored five goals on 45 shots in 18:05 per night, over 20 games. He added four assists, 10 penalty minutes, and a minus-2 rating.

In 1999-00, Corbet scored four goals on 100 shots in 48 games. He dished out 10 assists, earned a minus-7 rating, and spent 60 minutes in the penalty box in an average of 11:46 on the ice. He scored a goal in the season opener, a 5-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks. On February 1st, he earned two assists on February 1st in a 5-4 loss to the Blues. Calgary traded him with Tyler Moss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 14th for Brad Werenka.

Corbet went on to play 47 games for Pittsburgh (nine goals, nine assists). He joined the Mannheim Eagles in Germany for the next eight seasons (314 games, 120 goals, 115 assists, 622 PiM).

All-Time Statline: 68 games, nine goals, 14 assists, mins-5 rating, 70 penalty minutes, 1.32 point shares.

271. Byron Ritchie

Ritchie, a 5’10", 185 lb. center, was born on April 24th, 1977. A Burnaby, British Columbia native, he was a seventh round choice in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft for the Hartford Whalers, 165th overall.

For four seasons prior to his professional career, Ritchie centered for the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes, scoring 131 times with 166 assists in 231 games. Before his Flames career, he appeared with the Springfield Falcons (six games, two goals, one assist), the New Haven Beast (131 games, 37 goals, 51 assists, 236 PiM), the Carolina Hurricanes (33 games, two assists), the Cincinnati Cyclones (111 games, 39 goals, 47 assists, 247 PiM), the Lowell Lock Monsters (43 games, 25 goals, 30 assists), the Florida Panthers, 111 games, 10 goals, 15 assists, 137 PiM), and the San Antonio Rampage (26 games, three goals, 14 assists, 68 PiM).  He signed a free agent contract to play with the Flames just after the 2003-04 season, but ended up playing with Rogle BK in Sweden due to the 2004-05 work stoppage (30 games, 17 goals, 16 assists, 111 PiM).

Ritchie didn’t spend any time in the Flames minor league system. He made his franchise debut with the club in 2005-06, scoring four goals on 34 shots with two assists, a minus-2 rating, and 69 penalty minutes in 9:52 per appearance. He scored his first goal with the club on November 21st, in a 3-2 will over the Colorado Avalanche. Calgary made the postseason, and Ritchie played in all seven games of the series loss to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

In 2006-07, Ritchie scored a career high eight  goals on 46 shots with six assists, a plus-3 rating, and 69 penalty minutes in 9:46 per game. On January 6th, he scored two goals in a 4-2 win against the Dallas Stars.

Ritchie takes a licking here, but still manages to "win" the fight:

The Vancouver Canucks inked Ritchie to a deal following the season, where he played a career high 71 games with three goals and eight assists for the club. Afterward, he has played with Geneve Servette (Switzerland, 45 games, 22 goals, 38 assists), Minsk Dynamo (KHL, 12 games, three goals, two assists), and MODO Hockey Ornskoldsvik (Sweden, 53 games, 23 goals, 21 assists, 72 PiM). He has played with Bern for the past three seasons (Switzerland, 136 games, 52 goals, 67 assists, 170 PIM).

All-Time Statline: 109 games, 12 goals, eight assists, plus-1 rating, 137 penalty minutes, 1.33 point shares.

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