Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter LIII: 270-266

Centers Scott Nichol and Brent Ashton, right winger Sheldon Kennedy, defenseman Mark Osiecki, and left winger Gino Cavallini.

270. Scott Nichol

Nichol was born on New Years’ Eve, 1974 in Edmonton, Alberta. The 5’9", 180 lb. center was an 11th round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, 272nd overall.

Starting in 1992-93, Nichol played two seasons with the Portland Winter Hawks, totaling 71 goals and 86 assists with 290 penalty minutes in 132 contests. The next six seasons would see him spend all but five games with the Sabres AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans. He scored 80 times with 92 assists and 813 penalty minutes in 325 games. He went scoreless in five games for the Sabres over two seasons, earning 14 penalty minutes. He played the 2000-01 season with the IHL’s Detroit Vipers (67 games, seven goals, 24 assists, 198 PiM).

During the 2001 offseason, the Flames signed Nichol to a contract through free agency. He ranked third on the club with 107 penalty minutes in 2001-02, scoring eight times on 49 shots in 60 appearances. On November 20th, he tallied a goal and dished out an assist in a 5-5 tie with the Los Angeles Kings. He duplicated the feat on April 2nd, in a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers. He played 12:41 per game, posted a minus-9 rating and assisted on nine goals through the season.

In 2002-03, Nichol led the Flames with 149 minutes in the penalty box. He scored five goals on 66 shots in 10:47 per game. On December 15th, he figured into all of Calgary’s scoring with a goal and a pair of assists as the Flames tied the Vancouver Canucks, 3-3. He dished out five assists, posted a minus-7 rating, and appeared in 68 games.

Nichol was not retained by the Flames for 2003-04. He signed instead with the Chicago Blackhawks (75 games, seven goals, 11 assists, 145 PiM). Later, he appeared with the London Racers (EIHL, 24 games, nine goals, 19 assists, 102 PiM), the Nashville Predators (209 games, 22 goals, 23 assists, 271 PiM), the Milwaukee Admirals (six games, three goals, five assists, 18 PiM), the San Jose Sharks (135 games, eight goals, 18 assists, 122 PiM), and the St. Louis Blues (110 games, four goals, five assists, 108 PiM).

Nichol retired from playing at the end of the 2012-13 season, and accepted a position as the Director of Player Development for Nashville.

All-Time Statline: 128 games, 13 goals, 14 assists, minus-16 rating, 256 penalty minutes, 1.33 point shares.

269. Brent Ashton

Ashton played four seasons with the Saskatoon Blades starting in 1975-76, scoring 131 goals and 110 assists in 173 games. After a 119 point campaign in a 62 game season in 1978-79, the Vancouver Canucks selected him in the second round, 26th overall.

A 6’1", 210 lb. center from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Ashton was born on May 18th, 1960. After his selection, he joined the Canucks directly without a stop in the minor leagues. After his time in Vancouver (124 games, 23 goals, 25 assists), he had stops with the Colorado Rockies/New Jersey Devils (156 games, 38 goals, 55 assists), the Minnesota North Stars (97 games, 11 goals, 17 assists), the Quebec Nordiques (172 games, 78 goals, 75 assists), the Detroit Red Wings (108 games, 41 goals, 43 assists), the Winnipeg Jets (222 games, 66 games, 95 assists), and the Boston Bruins (87 games, 19 goals, 24 assists).

On February 1st, 1993, the Bruins traded Ashton to the Flames for CJ Young. He would close out the 1992-93 season (and his NHL career) with Calgary, appearing in 32 contests for the Flames down the stretch. He scored eight goals on 58 shots, with 11 assists, a plus-11 rating, and 41 minutes in the penalty box. After the season, he played in six playoff games for the Flames, earning three assists.

Ashton set the record, since tied, for the most trades endured by an NHL player, with nine. His brother Ron played for the Jets in the WHA, and his son Carter plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

All-Time Statline: 32 games, eight goals, 11 assists, plus-11 rating, 41 penalty minutes, 1.37 point shares.

268. Sheldon Kennedy

Kennedy was born on June 15th, 1969 in Elkhorn, Manitoba. The 5’10", 180 lb. right winger was a fourth round selection of the Detroit Red Wings in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, 80th overall.

Kennedy got his start with 16 games for the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL in 1984-85. He posted exactly zero points. After skipping the 1985-86 season, he spent three seasons with the Swift Current Broncos, averaging over a point and a half per game. He totaled 134 goals and 153 helpers in 159 contests with the team.

Kennedy made his professional debut in 1989-90 between the Adirondack Red Wings and Detroit, and spent five seasons with the organization. He totaled 26 goals and 53 points over 57 games with Adirondack, while tabbing 31 goals with 33 assists in 183 games for Detroit. Most of his production with the Red Wings came in 1992-93, when he scored 19 times with 11 helpers.

The Red Wings traded Kennedy to the Winnipeg Jets after the 1993-94 season. After the work stoppage, the Flames claimed him in the NHL’s Waiver Draft, on January 18th, 1995.

Kennedy played in 30 games for Calgary in the 1995 season, scoring seven times on 44 shots with eight assists, a career high plus-5 rating, and 45 penalty minutes. He had multiple points on four occasions, including two goals on February 26th in a 5-3 win over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He again scored two goals in a 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on May 3rd. He scored three more goals with an assist in Calgary’s seven game series loss to the San Jose Sharks in the opening round of the postseason.

In 1995-96, Kennedy appeared in 41 games for Calgary (and three for the Saint John Flames, for four goals). On February 20th, he scored the game winner in a 5-3 decision over the Sharks. He totaled three goals on 54 shots, with seven assists, a plus-3 rating, and 36 penalty minutes. He scored a goal in the postseason opening loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Boston Bruins signed Sheldon Kennedy through free agency prior to the 1996-97 season. He scored eight times in 56 games for the Bruisers, tabbing 10 assists. After taking a season off to rehab from a bicycle accident, he played in 24 IHL games for the Manitoba Moose (seven goals, seven assists). He played his last competitive hockey in 1998-99 with the German team, Landshut EV (13 games, three assists).

Kennedy’s NHL career spanned eight seasons, for which he played in a combined 310 regular season contests. He is perhaps best known, however, as a survivor of and a spokesman against sexual abuse.

All-Time Statline: 71 games, 10 goals, 15 assists, plus-8 rating, 81 penalty minutes, 1.38 point shares.

267. Mark Osiecki

Osiecki was a ninth round selection of the Flames in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, 187th overall. The 6’2", 200 lb. defenseman was a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, and was born on July 23rd, 1968.

Instead of turning professional after his selection, Osiecki elected instead to join the University of Wisconsin. He played three seasons of collegiate level hockey, scoring six goals and 42 assists in 108 games. He also earned 156 penalty minutes.

Osiecki joined the Salt Lake Golden Eagles in 1990-91, scoring a goal and 24 assists in 75 games. The following season would see him play all but one contest with Calgary.

Osiecki played in 50 games for the Flames in 1991-92, scoring a pair of goals on 44 shots with seven assists, a minus-4 rating and 24 penalty minutes. Even though he was not known as a scorer, his two goals really counted. On December 8th, he scored the game winner in a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. On February 5th, he again netted the game winner as the Flames defeated the Quebec Nordiques, 5-3. Even more impressive than going two-for-two with each goal being a game winner - both goals were also shorthanded.

During the 1992 offseason, the Flames traded Osiecki to the Ottawa Senators for Chris Lindberg. He played 34 games for Ottawa, collecting four assists. He also later played with the New Haven Senators (four games, one assist), the Winnipeg Jets (four games, one assist), the Kalamazoo Wings (65 games, four goals, 18 assists), the Detroit Vipers (four games), and the Minnesota Moose (35 games, one goal, two assists).

After retiring as a player, Osiecki soon went into coaching. He was the head coach with the Green Bay Gamblers (217-146-44) for seven seasons starting in 1997-98, including a Championship in 1999-00. After six seasons as an assistant with the University of Wisconsin, he head coached Ohio State University for three years (43-43-14). He was an assistant last season with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

All-Time Statline: 50 games, two goals, seven assists, minus-4 rating, 24 penalty minutes, 1.41 point shares.

266. Gino Cavallini

Cavallini was perhaps best known as a 6’1", 215 lb. left winger for the St. Louis Blues (454 games, 91 goals, 120 assists, 429 PiM). Born on November 24th, 1962, the Toronto, Ontario native first appeared with Bowling Green State University in 1982-83. Over two seasons, he scored 33 times with 39 helpers in 83 appearances. He closed out his collegiate career by scoring the game winner in the 1984 NCAA Championship Game in the fourth overtime for a 5-4 win over Minnesota Duluth. The Flames signed him as a free agent during the offseason.

In 27 games for Calgary during the 1984-85 season, Cavallini, sometimes known as "The Tank," scored six times on 44 shots with 10 assists, a plus-11 rating, and only 14 penalty minutes. The following season would see him score 13 times on 95 shots with a dozen assists, a minus-9 rating, and 62 penalty minutes. The Flames traded him with Eddy Beers and Charlie Bourgeois on February 1st to the Blues for Joe Mullen, Terry Johnson, and Rik Wilson.

After Cavallini’s time in St. Louis, he was signed by the Quebec Nordiques (85 games, 10 goals, 22 assists). He later appeared with the IHL’s Milwaukee Admirals (240 games, 139 goals, 109 assists), Germany’s Landshut EV (96 games, 37 goals, 47 assists), and Villach VSV (103 games, 80 goals, 105 assists).

All-Time Statline: 54 games, 13 goals, 17 assists, plus-4 rating, 40 penalty minutes, 1.44 point shares.

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