Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter XLV: 310-306

We take a look at right wingers Gary Leeman, Wade Belak, and Martin St. Louis, defenseman Terry Johnson, and center Aaron Gavey.

310. Martin St. Louis

St. Louis is a 5’8", 176 lb. right winger from Laval, Quebec. Born on June 18th, 1975, he played four seasons of collegiate hockey with the University of Vermont, totaling 91 goals with 176 assists in 139 contests for the Catamounts.

St. Louis was never drafted, signing on with the IHL’s Cleveland Lumberjacks after graduating with the Class of 1997. In 56 games, he scored 16 goals and 34 assists. The Flames signed him to a two-way contract on February 19th, 1998. He closed out the season with the Saint John Flames, scoring 20 goals and 26 assists through 45 regular season and playoff games with the club.

1998-99 would see St. Louis play 53 games for Saint John, scoring 28 goals with 34 assists. He also totaled 13 games through the season for Calgary. He scored his first NHL goal (of 370 to date) on October 20th, in a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. He finished the season with 14 shots on goal, also earning an assist, 10 penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating in just over eight minutes per appearance.

In 1999-00, St. Louis played just 17 games with Saint John (15 goals, 11 assists), spending most of his campaign with Calgary’s version of the Flames. He averaged 14:41 over 56 games with the club, scoring three times on 73 shots with 15 assists, a minus-5 rating, and 22 penalty minutes. On December 4th, he registered his first career two point game with a goal and an assist in a 4-2 triumph over the New Jersey Devils. He assisted on both of Calgary’s goals in a 2-1 win over the Stars on January 12th. On the first day of March, he lit the lamp twice (doubling his career total) in an 8-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Flames declined to sign St. Louis during the offseason, and the Tampa Bay Lightning were all too glad to snatch him up. He played 13 seasons for the Bolts, and is the all-time franchise leader with 588 assists and 953 points. He ranks second with 972 games played and with 365 goals. On March 5th, 2014, the Lightning traded him to the New York Rangers for Ryan Callahan and two high draft picks (first and second round).

St. Louis scored one goal and seven assists for the Rangers in 19 regular season games to close out the season. He has since lit the lamp six times with seven helpers in 21 playoff contests. The Rangers currently sit a one-game-to-zero deficit in the Stanley Cup finals to the Los Angeles Kings.

All-Time Statline: 69 games, four goals, 16 assists, minus-3 rating, 32 penalty minutes, 0.66 point shares.

309. Terry Johnson

Johnson, a Calgary, Alberta native, was born on November 28th, 1958. The 6’3", 210 lb. defenseman was a setup-man and bruiser for the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks for two seasons starting in 1975-76, totaling eight goals, 40 assists and 353 penalty minutes in 120 contests. He scored two goals with 20 assists and 195 penalty minutes in 70 games for the Saskatoon Blades the next season, and spent a year with the University of Calgary, scoring twice with four assists in 24 games.

Johnson turned professional prior to the 1979-80 season. Before he played for the Flames, he appeared with the Syracuse Firebirds (74 games, zero goals, 13 assists, 163 PiM), the Hershey Bears (63 games, one goal, seven assists, 207 PiM), the Quebec Nordiques (22 games, zero goals, two assists, 53 PiM), the Fredericton Express (121 games, two goals, 22 assists, 313 PiM), and the St. Louis Blues (188 games, two goals, 17 assists, 350 PiM).

On February 1st, 1986, the Blues traded Johnson with Joe Mullen and Rik Wilson to the Flames for Eddy Beers, Charlie Bourgeois, and Gino Cavallini. He appeared in 24 games for Calgary to close out the 1985-86 season, scoring one goal on 11 shots, along with four assists, a minus-3 rating and a pretty impressive 71 penalty minutes.

Just before the 1986-87 season started, the Flames traded Johnson to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jim Korn. He totaled one assist and 104 penalty minutes in 48 games for the Leafs. In his two seasons in Toronto’s organization, he also played 96 games for the Newmarket Saints (three goals, four assists, 211 PiM).

All-Time Statline: 24 games, one goal, four assists, minus-3 rating, 71 penalty minutes, 0.68 point shares.

308. Aaron Gavey

Gavey was a 6’2", 190 lb. center from Sudbury, Ontario. Born on February 22nd, 1974, he played three seasons at the junior level with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (170 games, 94 goals, 110 assists, 257 PiM) in the Ontario Hockey League. The Tampa Bay Lightning selected him in the fourth round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft with the 74th overall pick.

Gavey’s first three professional seasons would see him play with the Atlanta Knights (66 games, 18 goals, 17 assists, 85 PiM) and the Lightning (89 games, nine goals, six assists, 68 PiM). On November 19th, 1996, the Bolts traded him to the Flames for Rick Tabaracci.

Gavy appeared in 41 games for Calgary in 1996-97, scoring seven goals on 54 shots with nine assists, 34 penalty minutes, and a minus-11 rating. From January 28th through February 1st, he had five points in three games. He had a goal and an assist to start the streak in a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders. He scored twice to close the streak in a 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

1997-98 would see Gavey score two goals on 27 shots with three assists for the Flames in 26 games. He spent 24 minutes in the penalty box and finished at minus-5. On October 28th, he scored the game winner in a 6-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He also appeared eight times for Saint John, scoring four times with three helpers and 28 penalty minutes.

The Flames traded Gavey to the Dallas Stars for Bob Bassen after the season. The rest of his career, totaling nine seasons, would see him play with the Stars (48 games, seven goals, six assists, 54 PiM), the Michigan K-Wings (95 games, 38 goals, 48 assists, 201 PiM), the Minnesota Wild (146 games, 16 goals, 25 assists, 90 PiM), the St. John’s Maple Leafs (145 games, 36 goals, 74 assists, 183 PiM), the Toronto Maple Leafs (five games, one assist), the Utah Grizzlies (60 games, five goals, 14 assists, 58 PiM), the Portland Pirates (72 games, 16 goals, 31 assists, 106 PiM), the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (five games, two PiM), and the Cologne Sharks (Germany, 39 games, seven goals, four assists, 91 PiM).

All-Time Statline: 67 games, nine goals, 12 assists, minus-16 rating, 58 penalty minutes, 0.69 point shares.

307. Gary Leeman

Leeman was a 5’11", 175 lb. right winger from Toronto, Ontario. Born on February 19th, 1964, he first gained attention while skating with the Regina Pats in the WHL. The Toronto Maple Leafs chose him in the second round of the draft, 24th overall after he scored 19 goals and 41 assists in 1981-82. He spent a second season with the Pats, scoring 24 goals and 62 assists in 63 games in 1982-83. He joined the Maple Leafs for two playoff contests at the end of the season.

Leeman played the majority of the next nine seasons with Toronto, scoring 176 goals with 231 helpers and 463 penalty minutes in 545 games. On January 2nd, 1992, the Leafs traded Leeman with Craig Berube, Alexander Godynyuk, Michel Petit and Jeff Reese to the Flames for Doug Gilmour, Jamie Macoun, Ric Nattress, Rick Wamsley, and Kent Manderville.

Leeman played 29 games for Calgary to close out the 1991-92 season, scoring twice on 50 shots with seven assists, 27 penalty minutes and a minus-11 rating.

In 1992-93, Leeman played 30 games for the Flames, scoring nine goals on 49 shots with five assists, a plus-5 rating and 10 penalty minutes. On October 25th, he scored two goals for Calgary in a 4-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers. November 5th would see him net a hat trick with an assist and a five minute major penalty in an 8-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators. He had a goal and an assist on January 23rd in a 4-3 Pittsburgh Penguins victory over Calgary. The Flames traded him to the Montreal Canadiens on January 28th for Brian Skrudland.

Leeman would go on to play with Montreal (51 games, 10 goals, 23 assists), the Fredericton Canadiens (23 games, 18 goals, eight assists), the Vancouver Canucks (10 games, two goals), the St. Louis Blues (two games, one assist), the Worcester IceCats (24 games, nine goals, seven assists), the Utah Grizzlies (15 games, six goals, one assist), and the Hannover Scorpions (Germany, 54 games, 15 goals, 41 assists).

All-Time Statline: 59 games, 11 goals, 12 assists, minus-6 rating, 37 penalty minutes, 0.70 point shares.

306. Wade Belak

Belak was a right winger playing with the WHL Saskatoon Blades when selected in the first round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, 12th overall. The 6’5", 223 lb. defenseman was born on July 3rd, 1976 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In the four total seasons with the Blades (two before being drafted and two after), Belak played in 211 games, scoring 11 goals and 42 assists while earning 746 penalty minutes. After the conclusion of the 1995-96 season, he joined the Nordiques AHL affiliate, the Cornwall Aces for five games.

Belak spent most of the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons with the AHL Hershey Bears, joining the relocated Nordiques franchise (now the Colorado Avalanche) for 35 games over three seasons. He scored one NHL goal and one assist with a minus-6 rating and 109 penalty minutes while a member of the franchise.

Colorado traded Belak to the Calgary Flames in February, 1999, along with Rene Corbet, Robyn Regehr and a second round draft choice for Theoren Fleury and Chris Dingman. He put up one assist in nine contests for Calgary to close out the campaign, earning 23 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating in 10:46 per game.

In 1999-00, Belak appeared in 40 games for the Flames, playing 7:33 per appearance. He totaled two assists and took 11 shots on goal with a minus-4 rating and a team leading 122 penalty minutes.

2000-01 would begin with Belak still part of the Flames rotation, playing 6:54 per game over 23 contests. He took eight shots on goal and didn’t earn any points, with 79 penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating. The Flames waived him, and the Toronto Maple Leafs picked him up.

Belak played the bulk of his NHL career in Toronto, playing 318 games over parts of seven seasons. He racked up a total of 763 penalty minutes along with a minus-27 rating, seven goals and 17 assists. Toronto traded him to the Panthers for a fifth round draft pick in February, 2008.

Belak played the end of 2007-08 and the beginning of 2008-09 with Florida. He totalled 32 games without scoring, registering an even rating, and earning 37 penalty minutes. The Panthers traded him to the Nashville Predators in November, 2008 for Nick Tarnasky.

Belak played 92 games for the Predators, earning four assists, a minus-2 rating, and 120 penalty minutes. He officially retired from playing on March 8, 2011, staying with the Predators organization. Belak was found dead at a hotel in Toronto on August 31, 2011, a suspected but unconfirmed suicide. He had previously admitted to being depressed. Belak's family believes the death was accidental.

All-Time Statline: 72 games, zero goals, three assists, minus-3 rating, 224 penalty minutes, 0.70 point shares.

Thank you for joining us for today's article. Tune in tomorrow for five more Flames.

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