Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter XLIII: 320-316

Today's dispatch includes career summaries of centers Billy MacMillan and Wayne Primeau, defensemen Lee Norwood and Gord Wappel, and left winger Tim Sweeney.

320. Wayne Primeau

Primeau was a first round selection of the Buffalo Sabres, 17th overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He was a 6'3", 230 lb. center from Scarborough, born on June 4th, 1976 (Happy Birthday!). He played four seasons of Junior Hockey in the OHL. Most notably was his third season in 1994-95, after he had already been drafted. He totaled 34 goals and 62 assists in 66 contests.

Primeau played in parts of six seasons for the Sabres, scoring 19 goals with 25 assists in 225 contests. Later, he appeared with the Tampa Bay Lightning (64 games, four goals, 16 assists, 102 PiM), the Pittsburgh Penguins (131 games, nine goals, 24 assists, 127 PiM), the San Jose Sharks (100 games, 15 goals, 24 assists, 107 PiM), and the Boston Bruins (101 games, 13 goals, 16 assists, 115 PiM). Boston traded him with Brad Stuart and a draft pick (TJ Brodie) to the Flames for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew on February 10th, 2007.

Primeau played in 27 games for Calgary down the stretch in 2006-07, scoring three times on 35 shots with four assists, a minus-2 rating, and 36 penalty minutes in 10:38 per appearance. He scored his first two Flames’ goals on February 26th in a 5-2 home win over the Phoenix Coyotes. He would add two assists over six playoff contests in a six game opening round series loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

In 2007-08, Primeau averaged 11:03 per game for the Flames, making 43 starts and totaling three goals on 39 shots, along with seven helpers. He closed out the season at minus-3 with 26 penalty minutes. He got his first multi-point game of the season with two assists in his final appearance that year, on April 5th in a 7-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks. He added a goal in seven playoff games.

Primeau vs. Primeau Video

2008-09 would see Primeau go scoreless on 22 shots on goal, with four assists, a minus-3 rating and 14 minutes in the penalty box in 10:23 per game. The Flames sent him with a second round pick (Brandon Saad) to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Anton Stralman, Colin Stuart and a seventh round pick (Matt DeBlouw). He scored three times with five assists in 59 games that season for the Leafs. Although he hasn’t officially retired, he has not appeared at any organized level for four seasons.

All-Time Statline: 94 games, six goals, 15 assists, minus-8 rating, 76 penalty minutes, 0.57 point shares.

319. Lee Norwood

Norwood, born on Groundhog’s Day in 1960, was a 6’1, 198 lb. native of Trenton, Michigan. He played at the defenseman position, and was selected by the Quebec Nordiques after averaging a point per game in 1978-79 with the OHA’s Oshawa Generals (61 games, 23 goals, 28 assists, 171 PiM). The Nordiques chose him in the third round, 62nd overall.

In 1980-81, Norwood played most of his season with the Hershey Bears (52 games, 11 goals, 32 assists, 78 PiM). He also had a goal and an assist in 11 appearances with the Nordiques. He would split the following season between the Fredericton Express (29 games, six goals, 13 assists), the Nordiques (two games), and the Washington Capitals (26 games, seven goals, 10 assists, 125 PiM)

The next three seasons would see Norwood appear with the Bears (67 games, 12 goals, 26 assists, 90 PiM), the Capitals (eight games, one assist, 14 PiM), the St. Catharines Saints (75 games, 13 goals, 46 assists, 91 PiM), and the Peoria Rivermen (80 games, 17 goals, 60 assists, 229 PiM).

For the most part, Norwood would play at the NHL level for the next nine seasons. He played with the St. Louis Blues (147 games, 11 goals, 42 assists, 291 PiM), the Detroit Red Wings (259 games, 36 goals, 96 assists, 539 PiM), the New Jersey Devils (28 games, three goals, two assists, 87 PiM), and the Hartford Whalers (six games, 16 PiM). He is currently part of the Red Wings alumni organization.

All-Time Statline: 16 games, zero goals, one assist, plus-3 rating, 16 penalty minutes, 0.58 point shares.

318. Tim Sweeney

Sweeney, a 5’11", 185 lb. left winger from Boston, Massachusetts, was born on April 12th, 1967. The Flames selected him in the sixth round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft with the 122nd overall pick, but watched as Sweeney began a collegiate career with Boston College.

In four seasons with the Eagles, Sweeney earned his letters with 48 goals and 31 assists in 88 games through his first three seasons in college. As a senior, he put up nearly two points per game, scoring 29 with 44 helpers in 39 games. He joined the Salt Lake Golden Eagles for the 1989-90 season (81 games, 46 goals, 51 assists).

1990-91 would see Sweeney score 19 times with 16 helpers for the Golden Eagles in 31 games. He would also play in 42 contests for Calgary. Four of his seven markers (in 40 shots) on the campaign would be game winners. He tabbed nine assists, a plus-1 rating, and just eight penalty minutes. His most notable appearance was on November 3rd, when he scored a goal and an assist in a 7-3 Calgary win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Slowed by injury in 1991-92, Sweeney played in a total of 11 games, all with the Flames. He had a goal, two assists, and four penalty minutes. The Boston Bruins signed him as a free agent following the season.

After Sweeney’s time in Boston (91 games, 19 goals, 26 assists), he also played with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (91 games, 17 goals, 28 assists) and the New York Rangers (56 games, 11 goals, 18 assists).

All-Time Statline: 53 games, eight goals, 11 assists, plus-1 rating, 12 penalty minutes, 0.58 point shares.

317. Billy MacMillan

MacMillan was a 5’11", 172 lb. center from Charlottetown, Price Edward Island. Born on March 7th, 1943, he was a frequent member of the Canadian National Team. He played with Toronto St. Michael’s in the OHA starting in 1959-60, totaling 21 goals and 27 assists in 80 games.

Aside from his time with Team Canada, MacMillan didn’t appear again in organized hockey until the 1970-71 season, with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He spent two seasons with the club, racking up 32 goals and 26 assists in 137 games. The Atlanta Flames claimed him in the 1972 NHL Expansion Draft.

As an original Flame, MacMillan ranked ninth on the team with 10 goals on 101 shots. He also pitched in with 15 assists, totaled a minus-10 rating, and speRnt 52 minutes in the sin bin. After the season, Atlanta sent him to the New York Islanders for Arnie Brown.

MacMillan played four seasons for the Islanders, scoring 32 goals with 36 assists in 231 contests. Later, he played with the Rhode Island Reds (two games, one goal, one assist) and the Fort Worth Texans (71 games, six goals, 20 assists). He retired during the 1978 offseason, and quickly joined the Islanders as an assistant coach. He was part of the staff that helped New York to their first Stanley Cup Championship, in 1980. He was later a head coach for the Colorado Rockies/New Jersey Devils (56-150-34).

All-Time Statline: 78 games, 10 goals, 15 assists, minus-10 rating, 52 penalty minutes, 0.59 point shares.

316. Gord Wappel

Wappel, a native of Regina, Saskatchewan, was born on July 26th, 1958. He was a 6’2", 203 lb. defenseman for the WCHL’s Regina Pats for four seasons beginning in 1974-75 (213 games, 19 goals, 89 assists, 390 PiM). The Atlanta Flames made him a fifth round selection in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft, 80th off the board.

1978-79 would see Wappel split his campaign between the Tulsa Oilers (47 games, one goal, 16 assists, 44 PiM) and the Muskegon Mohawks (20 games, two goals, six assists, 40 PiM). The following season would see him spend most of the year with the Birmingham Bulls (76 games, four goals, 20 assists, 122 PiM). He also made his first NHL appearance, playing two games for Atlanta and earning a plus-1 rating.

The Flames moved to Calgary during the 1980 offseason. Wappel was a depth option for the Flames with the AHL’s Nova Scotia Voyageurs (18 games, four assists, 16 PiM). He joined Calgary for seven games through the season, totaling an assist, four penalty minutes, and a plus-1 rating.

1981-82 would see Wappel play in 46 games for the Oklahoma City Stars (six goals, 13 assists, 52 PiM). For Calgary, he scored his first (and last) NHL goal on his 12th and final NHL shot on goal, earning six penalty minutes and a minus-4 rating on the year. He spent the following season with the Colorado Flames (70 games, 10 goals, 34 assists, 110 PiM).

All-Time Statline: 20 games, one goal, one assist, minus-2 rating, 10 penalty minutes, 0.60 point shares.

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