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Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter LIV: 265-261

The second half of our summer-long countdown gets underway today with centers Ron Niedermayer and Bryan Hextall, defensemen Randy Holt and Ron Harris, and right winger Jim Jackson.

265. Bryan Hextall

Hextall was born on May 23rd, 1941 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A 5'11", 185 lb. center, he played three seasons for the Brandon Wheat Kings starting in 1958-59. In 90 games, he collected 63 markers and 83 helpers along with 102 PIM. He joined the EPHL's Kitchener-Waterloo Beavers for the 1961-62 season. In 56 games he scored 22 times with 23 assists.

The following season would see Hextall spend most of the season with the Baltimore Clippers in the AHL (54 games, 10 goals, 12 assists), also making his first NHL appearance with the New York Rangers (21 games, two assists). It would be the last time he appeared in the NHL for seven years.

Hextall played two more seasons with the Clippers (125 games, 23 goals, 42 assists), followed by two seasons with the WHL's Vancouver Canucks (102 games, 22 goals, 62 assists), one season with the AHL's Rochester Americans (72 games, 24 goals, 47 assists) and one more season with Vancouver (70 games, 22 goals, 56 assists). The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired his rights from Vancouver during the 1969 offseason.

Hextall played for parts of five seasons with the Pens, totaling 71 goals and 115 assists in 335 games, with 498 penalty minutes and a minus-107. Pittsburgh waived him on January 6th, 1974, where the then-Atlanta Flames gladly picked him up. In 40 contests with Atlanta that year, he scored twice with four assists, 55 penalty minutes and a career best plus/minus of even.

The Flames kept Hextall around for 74 games the following season. scoring a team fourth-best 18 goals on 120 shots with 16 assists and 62 minutes in the box. He also ended up with a minus-13 rating. His shooting percentage was the second best figure on the team, at 15%.

All-Time Statline: 114 games, 20 goals, 20 assists, minus-13 rating, 117 penalty minutes, 1.44 point shares.

264. Ron Harris

Harris first made his mark with the Hamilton Red Wings in 1960-61. The 5’9", 175 lb. defenseman played two seasons for the OHA level club, scoring eight goals with 38 assists in 97 contests.

Harris was born on June 30th, 1942 in Verdun, Quebec. He made his professional debut with the Pittsburgh Hornets in 1962-63 (62 goals, three goals, 18 assists, 88 PiM).  He also played in a total of four games for the Detroit Red Wings over that season and the next, earning one assist in his NHL debut.

Harris didn’t appear in the NHL again until the 1967-68 season with the Oakland Golden Seals (54 games, four goals, six assists, 60 PiM). It was during this time with Oakland the he inadvertently killed opposing player Bill Masterson in a collision on the ice. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

It bothers you the rest of your life. It wasn't dirty and it wasn't meant to happen that way. Still, it's very hard because I made the play. It's always in the back of my mind.

In the meantime, he played a season each for the Cincinnati Wings (66 games, four goals, 21 assists, 129 PiM), the Memphis Wings (70 games, 18 goals, 18 assists, 75 PiM), the San Francisco Seals (54 games, 12 goals, 16 assists, 74 PiM), and the California Golden Seals (31 games, eight goals, nine assists, 40 PiM).

Starting in 1968-69, Harris played four more seasons for the Red Wings (248 games, eight goals, 50 assists, 335 PiM). He joined the brand-new Atlanta Flames through the 1972 Expansion Draft on June 6th.

Harris appeared in 24 contests for the Flames, scoring a pair of goals on 36 shots along with four assists. He also posted a minus-5 rating and spent eight minutes in the penalty box. On November 28th, the Flames traded him to the New York Rangers for Curt Bennett.

Harris played four seasons with the Rangers (146 games, six goals, 30 assists, 64 PiM) before his career was cut short by a knee injury suffered versus the New York Islanders at the start of the 1975-76 season.

All-Time Statline: 24 games, two goals, four assists, minus-5 rating, eight penalty minutes, 1.47 point shares.

263. Rob Niedermayer

Niedermayer, a 6’2", 203 lb. center from Cassiar, British Columbia, was born on December 28th, 1974. He played three seasons at the Junior Hockey level in the WHL with the Medicine Hat Tigers starting in 1990-91 (194 games, 99 goals, 106 assists). After his first round selection by the expansion Florida Panthers in the first round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, fifth overall, he played 13 more games for the Tigers (nine goals, 15 assists) before joining the NHL.

Niedermayer quickly emerged as the face of the NHL in South Florida. Over eight seasons with the club, he accrued a team seventh-best 518 appearances. He also ranks highly on the Panthers all-time leaderboard with 101 goals (seventh), 165 assists (sixth), 266 points (eighth), 435 penalty minutes (eighth), 33 power play goals (seventh), and 19 game winning goals (fifth). He also ranks dead last in franchise history with a minus-58 rating.

As the 2001 offseason got underway, the Panthers traded Niedermayer with a second round pick (Andrei Mededev) for Valeri Bure and Jason Wiemer. 2001-02 would see him play in 57 contests with the Flames, scoring six goals on 87 shots with 14 assists, a minus-15 rating and 49 penalty minutes. He averaged 18:01 per game. On December 14th, he earned an assist and scored the game winner in a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. In a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on March 30th, he again filled the scoresheet with a goal and an assist.

In 2002-03, Niedermayer scored eight times on 104 shots with 10 helpers to his credit. He played 17:29 per game, earning 42 penalty minutes and a minus-13 rating. On November 27th, he figured into both of Calgary’s markers with a goal and an assist in a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals. On January 18th, he scored the overtime game winner in a 2-1 triumph over the Kings. On February 4th, he played his only multiple-goal game while with the Flames, scoring twice in a 3-2 setback at the hands of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. On March 11th, Calgary traded him to the Ducks for Mike Commodore and Jean-Francois Damphousse.

Niedermayer played in 382 games over six seasons with Anaheim (56 goals, 68 assists, 311 PiM), later appearing with the New Jersey Devils (71 games, 10 goals, 12 assists, 45 PiM) and the Buffalo Sabres (71 games, five goals, 14 assists, 22 PiM). He spent the 2011-12 season in Switzerland with Lugano (14 games, two goals, four assists).

All-Time Statline: 111 games, 14 goals, 24 assists, minus-28 rating, 91 penalty minutes, 1.49 point shares.

262. Jim Jackson

Jackson played four seasons in the OHA between the Oshawa Generals (133 games, 46 goals, 87 assists) and the Niagara Falls Flyers (130 games, 55 goals, 96 assists). The 5’10", 180 lb. right winger signed on with the EHL’s Richmond Rifles (58 games, 16 goals, 43 assists) and the IHL’s Muskegon Mohawks (82 games, 24 goals, 51 assists).

Born on February 1st, 1960, Jackson was a native of Oshawa, Ontario. In 1982-83, he made his professional debut with the Colorado Flames in the CHL (30 games, 10 goals, 16 assists). He was called up to Calgary and played 48 games with the parent club, scoring eight goals on 85 shots. He added 12 assists, a team fourth-best plus-9 rating, and only seven penalty minutes. He played in eight postseason games with the club, adding two goals and an assist.

Jackson duplicated his pattern of splitting time between Colorado (25 games, five goals, 27 assists) and Calgary (49 games) in 1983-84. As in the past season, he finished with 20 points, but this time his time in the penalty box increased to 13 minutes. He had a plus-1 rating, six goals on 66 shots, and 14 assists. He scored a goal and assisted on another in six playoff games.

In 1984-85, Jackson spent 24 games with Calgary’s new affiliate, the AHL’s Moncton Golden Flames, scoring two goals with five assists). He only played 10 games with Calgary, scoring a goal on 10 shots with four assists, a plus-1 rating and zero penalty minutes. He signed a contract with the Buffalo Sabres through free agency following the season.

Jackson spent five seasons in the Sabres organization, mostly with the AHL’s Rochester Americans (360 games, 93 goals, 205 assists). He scored two goals in five games for the Sabres in 1987-88. One of those five games was against the Flames in Calgary. He went minus-2 and did not score. He retired following the 1989-90 season, and in 2001 was inducted into the Rochester Americans Hockey Hall of Fame.

All-Time Statline: 107 games, 15 goals, 30 assists, plus-11 rating, 20 penalty minutes, 1.53 point shares.

261. Randy Holt

Holt, a 5’11", 184 lb. defenseman from Pembroke, Ontario, was a third round selection of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1973 NHL Entry Draft, 45th overall. Born on January 15th, 1953, he spent three seasons in the OHA between the Niagara Falls Flyers (62 games, eight goals, 22 assists, 296 PiM) and the Sudbury Wolves (55 games, seven goals, 42 assists, 294 PiM).

Holt joined the Blackhawks organization for the 1973-74 season. He was with them for four seasons and part of a fifth, splitting time between their CHL affilliate, the Dallas Black Hawks (225 games, 17 goals, 103 assists, 884 PiM), and Chicago (42 games, zero goals, four assists, 60 PiM). He was traded to the Cleveland Barons in 1977-78 (48 games, one goal, four assists, 229 PiM), later appearing with the Vancouver Canucks (22 games, one goal, three assists) and the Los Angeles Kings (78 games, zero goals, seven assists, 296 PiM). While the Flames were moving from Atlanta to Calgary during the 1980 offseason, they also found time to trade Gary Unger to the Kings for Holt and Bert Wilson.

Holt was an integral line team brawl participant in this record breaking throw down between the Kings and the Philadelphia Flyers:

In 48 contests for Calgary in 1980-81, Holt went scoreless on 14 shots, assisting on five goals. He earned a minus-6 rating and a team second 165 penalty minutes. After the regular season concluded, he appeared in 13 of Calgary’s 15 postseason contests, contributing two goals and two helpers. He also spent another 52 minutes in the sin bin.

1981-82 would see Holt suit up eight times for Calgary, taking only one shot on goal and going scoreless with a minus-4 rating and nine penalty minutes. The Flames traded him with Bobby Gould to the Washington Capitals on November 25th for Pat Ribble and a draft choice (Todd Francis).

After Holt spent two seasons with the Caps (123 games, two goals, 14 assists, 525 PiM), he joined the Flyers to close out his career (26 games, zero points, 74 PiM).

All-Time Statline: 56 games, zero goals, five assists, minus-2 rating, 174 penalty minutes, 1.55 point shares.